Active learning is the strategy implemented by various teachers where they encourage students to take part in the learning process and not simply rely on instructing or lecturing them about a particular topic of discussion. This strategy can be implemented by teachers and parents in various ways. Teachers can involve students by conducting debates, group discussions, and skits. They can also show videos and animations related to various topics and then ask students to elaborate and explain the concept to their fellow classmates.
Such methods of teaching enhance the involvement of students in the classroom and encourage them in gaining first-hand experience with the knowledge that is being imparted. Activities and Games are other engaging ways that can help students learn actively. Learning happens more efficiently when done in a playful manner.
Learning through playful means also keeps children engaged and interested for long durations of time along with that the concepts which students learn tend to stay in their memory for a longer time. Usually, games are based on some concept that needs to be applied to move further ahead in the game; this also indirectly encourages students to apply their knowledge and solve various problems.
Interactive online games for active learning
Online games are significant in improving active learning skills in students as well as adults. Since they come with illustrations and relevant themes, it is evidently important to offer a diversified learning platform through them.
1. The Memory Game
Memory games are effective to work on one’s working memory. These types of games offer challenging environments thereby also engaging players to advance to various levels.
- As you start, you’ll be presented with different cards with different images on them. You need to open cards and remember the image with it
- Try matching two cards with similar images
- The number of moves in which you clear the first level will be counted
- The lesser the number of moves you take to clear the level more chances you will receive a medal
This memory game engages the various rehearsal and recognition skills of children and strengthens them as they keep playing the game. It also helps in building perseverance amongst children by presenting them with different intensities of challenges every time they play.
2. Quick Draw
Quickdraw helps you to test the cognitive skills of the players along with their time management skills. Players also get to present or improvise their creativity through drawing.
- Once you start the game, an object’s name will be given
- The object should be drawn within 20 seconds
- You need to replicate the object in the most obvious manner
- For example, if it is a cap, you can draw a semi-circle to represent a cap
This game helps in being an active part of the learning process while working with alertness and quickness. It is a significant game to engage the mind and awaken it when it slumps down a bit. It can be used as a quick activity to lighten the mood and re-engage in study or work.
3. Word Search
Word Search games are another popular category of games that can be used for active learning. Such a game activates the mind to search for many words in a fusion of different letters.
- Once you click on the link, a window will appear on which the different levels of the game will be mentioned
- Choose the level as per your choice and start playing
- The system will give you a set of words in each word puzzle
- It will measure the time in which you complete the whole puzzle
- Try to beat your previous time and challenge yourself to do better
This game requires a lot of concentration and attention, it can indirectly improve these qualities in the players. This is also one of the many games that will improve the vocabulary of students in a playful manner. An English teacher can use various word search games to enhance the vocabulary of students, by giving them these words before the lecture and then discussing the meaning.
4. The Hidden Kitchen
A category of game where one has to search various objects in a given theme-based level engages various cognitive, analytical, and perceptual skills of the players. This is a game where the players have to search for a specific list of objects. They have to think quickly as to which object will be placed in which part of the kitchen and search specifically to save time.
- Once you click on the link, a window will open on which the game will be displayed
- The option to choose your preferred language and play will be displayed
- Once you click on play, a set of objects which need to be found in the kitchen will be given with their pictures
- The time limit to find the list of items is 5 minutes
- Once you find all the items, move to the next level
This online game keeps the players gripped and tests their visual abilities along with their patience. Such games can enhance the knowledge of the players by understanding what all tools or equipment are used in a kitchen or in any other theme-based level.
Sudoku is a popular game played by people across all age groups. In this game, a set of 9 numbers are given which need to be arranged in a specific order abiding by the various rules of the game. The game requires perseverance and patience, but once one gets the hang of it, one can enjoy playing this game.
- Once you click on the link a sudoku puzzle opens up directly on the screen
- There are various options mentioned on the screen for the player’s reference
- The game does not accept incorrect answers thereby allowing you to stay alert
- There is a timer that measures how much time you solve the puzzle
Sudoku requires a lot of concentration and focus to play. It requires critical thinking and problem solving as players have to connect and solve the grid with respect to the other different grids.
6. Jigsaw Puzzles
A jigsaw puzzle is another good choice for a game that promotes active learning. Through this game, players learn about the art of connecting various dots together to obtain the whole picture.
- Once you open the link you will get various options related to various jigsaw puzzles
- Select one and start solving the puzzle
- There are some tools that are also displayed on the window that can help you track your overall progress
Jigsaw puzzles make players learn patience, their skills related to visual imagery, memory, planning, and critical thinking are all put to use in this game. Through this game, students also develop focus and analytical thinking skills.
Tetris is one of the most famous games of all time that engages players. This game helps in geometrical and spatial skills, visual perception, and various other aspects of cognition.
- Once you click on the link the window of the game appears
- There is an option with a play button on it, click on it to start playing
- This game has various levels, complete them one by one to welcome more challenges
It is one of the most loved games by children. No doubt this game has the potential to keep players engaged for hours and hours. Along with this, children learn to concentrate and even develop critical thinking skills.
Alternate strategies for active learning
- Active learning activities offer an engaging learning environment for students as well as adults. Activities foster a sense of understanding while also observing and accepting other perspectives and opinions.
- Different team quizzes are also an innovative way to engage people in active learning. The quiz provides an open source of information on various aspects of life.
- Active learning can also be introduced through group discussions on topics of public interest. As individuals get an opportunity to express their views, they also receive an idea about different perspectives of the problem.
- Powerful and relevant quotes also help in employing active learning. Quotes also create a motivating environment for individuals thereby raising the urge to learn.
- Books also offer a diversified learning platform through the inclusion of relevant examples and information. Certain books on active learning are filled with creative illustrations and relatable lessons to improve the active learning process.
Active learning adds spice to a classroom and engages students in various manners. As a teacher, one of the important tasks one has to master is the art of capturing students’ attention and making the curriculum of study interesting and easy. The various methods that promote active learning are just the way to do that; they can light up a class even when the chapter taught in the class is a bit heavy and boring.
These online free games are one of a good ways to engage students in the process of active learning. These strategies can also help create a good impression on students and motivate them to attend your lectures regularly. This, in turn, can contribute greatly to better test scores and overall grades in final-term examinations.
I am Shweta Sharma. I am a final year Masters student of Clinical Psychology and have been working closely in the field of psycho-education and child development. I have served in various organisations and NGOs with the purpose of helping children with disabilities learn and adapt better to both, academic and social challenges. I am keen on writing about learning difficulties, the science behind them and potential strategies to deal with them. My areas of expertise include putting forward the cognitive and behavioural aspects of disabilities for better awareness, as well as efficient intervention. Follow me on LinkedIn