In-Class and Worksheet Activities

Information on the use of personal response systems, or "Clickers" is found on the Clickers/Personal Response Systems page.

See our video collection to see implementation tips for in-class activities.

Creating and implementing in-class activities; principles and practical tips view pdf
Things to think about while designing in-class group activities and practical tips on their design, implementation, and follow-up. (2 pages)
What Not To Do; Practices that should be avoided when implementing active learning view pdfWe and others have written about how to implement active learning in the university classroom, but we have noticed some practices by well-meaning instructors that we feel should be avoided. (2 pages)
Group Work in Educational Settings view pdf
A short description of different approaches to student group work and their benefits, requirements, and implementation logistics, prepared by CU-SEI and UBC-CWSEI staff & associates.
Setting class norms about behavior during group activities view pdfAn activity to establish norms for group discussions in class. This is done on the first day of class and serves two different beneficial purposes. First, it is a good first-group-activity, as the answer is nontrivial, and it is something where everyone feels equally qualified to contribute. Second and most importantly, it has the class establish norms for behavior in group work. (1 page)
Making the most of demonstrations, videos, animations, or simulations in lectures and laboratories view pdf
Based on a workshop offered at the UBC Annual Science Education Open House on April 13, 2015. This short document discusses why students often don't learn from demos, videos, animations, and simulations, and gives strategies to improve student learning. (2 pages)
A better way to do in-class review view pdf
"For many years, I used to spend a lecture or two going over material I expected most students would have previously seen, but likely had forgotten to some extent. Then I actually collected data on the effectiveness of this approach and was surprised to find out that it was less than useless. I subsequently found a much better method for reviewing." (1 page; by Carl Wieman; September 2016)
Invention Activities for University Cell Biology download zip folder
Invention activity materials designed by Jared Taylor and George Spiegelman (UBC Microbiology & Immunology). Includes guide for instructors and slides, handouts, and follow-up homework. (11 MB Zip file)
Observation Guide for the Active-learning Classroom view pdf
This guide was created by Carl Wieman to facilitate the observation of classes incorporating active learning. The observer(s) might be other faculty, postdocs, or graduate students with the purpose of learning about implementation of active learning, or to provide feedback to the instructor. It can also serve as a guide for instructors on their design and implementation of active learning activities. It is intended to apply to modest size class, 6 to 80 or so, where students can work in groups with the instructor circulating around them, often with TA helping. The full guide is 2 pages, and a 1-page simplified version is included for the beginning observer.
Two-Stage Exams view pdf
In a two-stage exam, students first complete and turn in the exam individually and then, working in small groups, answer the exam questions again. Students receive immediate, targeted feedback on their solutions from their peers and see alternative approaches to the problems. This document discusses the benefits of two-stage exams and gives practical implementation tips. (2 pages)


Below is the complete catalogue of site resources on activities if you want to browse further.

In-Class Activities

What Not To Do: Practices that should be avoided when implementing active learning - info

We and others have written about how to implement active learning in the university classroom, but we have noticed...