Activity-Based Learning

Noel Perera
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 Any specific behaviour or action of a particular kind is called an activity — such as playing a game, thinking over something, writing notes, reading books, asking and answering questions, etc.  

In an educational process, a teacher can incorporate activities of some type in teaching to make students learn using these activities as a base for learning.

Activity-Based Learning (ABL) was started some time during World War II by David Horsburgh, the pioneer of ABL system. His school curriculum was diverse and the teaching materials were were systematically planned with different learning activities.  

There’s a wide range of activities that can be employed with ABL.

  1. Dramatization: An event, a story or a novel is reconstructed into a dramatic presentation.
  2. Quizzes: A competitive activity in which participants should give the answers to the questions in a prescribed span of time following some pre-determined rules.
  3. Group discussions: Groups are formed and students discuss about a given topic and reaching a decision or arriving at some conclusions.
  4. Role play: Students enact some situations or play the roles of characters.
  5. Educational games: Games are designed to help students to learn a skill, enhance the understanding of concepts, learn about certain subjects.
  6. Brainstorming: Students produce a heap of ideas on a particular theme or a problem with no commenting on anyone’s points of view.
  7. Problem solving: Problem solving is a process of finding the solution to the problem by using one or more concepts or principles or formulae or required information.
  8. Debates: Discussion involving arguments between two groups in which one group argues to defend the controversial issue or theme and other group puts up the arguments against the theme.
  9. Field work: Students experience real life situations, collect relevant data, process and analyze the data and arrive at conclusions.
  10. Discovery learning: Students learning by exploring or discovering many aspects of the environment on their own.
  11. Projects: Projects are aimed at achieving one or more definite goals of understanding. They involve investigating and finding solutions, planning and carrying out to completion by students.
  12. Concept mapping: It is a process of representing the concepts or different things in hierarchical fashion with most inclusive, general concepts at the top and less general concepts at the bottom in a pictorial form.

ABL approach is quite effective as children actively participate and involve in learning. They learn things in their surrounding environment on their own.

As teachers, it is very important to decide the instructional goals at the beginning. Consider the nature of the subject as well as the learner characteristics and their cognitive level. Order and customize the instructional goals according to the time available. Make sure to set up a link between different activities and previous knowledge. Allocate the human and non-human resources well and bring about required changes in the activities for better use.

Noel Perera

Author / Trainer

Noel Perera

Noel Perera has helped thousands of English learners, online and offline, during his 13+ years of coaching. His coaching includes wide variety of English language workshops for young adults, adults, teachers and business professionals. Noel Perera is a former IT student, whose IT career was crushed with a passion for English. Finding a new career path as an English language coach was destiny.