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[Excerpt] The goal of this chapter, therefore, is to develop an integrative conceptual framework of active learning, and we do this by focusing on three primary issues. First, we define the active learning approach and contrast it to more traditional, passive instructional approaches. We argue that the active learning approach can be distinguished from not only more passive approaches to instruction but also other forms of experiential learning based on its use of formal training components to systematically influence trainees' cognitive, motivational, and emotion self-regulatory processes. Second, we examine how specific training components can be used to influence each of these process domains. Through a review of prior research, we extract core training components that cut across different active learning interventions, map these components onto specific process domains, and consider the role of individual differences in shaping the effects of these components (aptitude-treatment interactions [ATIs]). A final issue examined in this chapter concerns the outcomes associated with the active learning approach. Despite its considerable versatility, the active learning approach is not the most efficient or effective means of responding to all training needs. Thus, we discuss the impact of the active learning approach on different types of learning outcomes in order to identify the situations under which it is likely to demonstrate the greatest utility. We conclude the chapter by highlighting research and practical implications of our integrated framework, and we outline an agenda for future research on active learning.


Suggested Citation

Bell, B. S. & Kozlowski, S. W. J. (2009). Toward a theory of learner-centered training design: An integrative framework of active learning [Electronic version]. In S. W. J. Kozlowski & E. Salas (Eds.), Learning, training, and development in organizations (pp. 263-300). New York: Routledge.

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Copyright held by Taylor & Francis. Reprinted with permission.