Active and Collaborative Learning

Students learn more when they are intensely involved in their education and are asked to think about and apply what they are learning in different settings. Collaborating with others in solving problems or mastering difficult material prepares students to deal with the messy, unscripted problems they will encounter daily during and after college.


  • Asked questions in class or contributed to class discussions
  • Made a class presentation
  • Worked with other students on projects during class
  • Worked with classmates outside of class to prepare class assignments
  • Tutored or taught other students
  • Participated in a community-based project as part of a regular course
  • Discussed ideas from your readings or classes with others outside of class (students, family members, co-  workers, etc.)

NIU Results

Active & Collaborative Learning chart

How often are topics from class discussed outside of the classroom?
56% of FY students frequently discuss readings or ideas from coursework outside of class.

Do students work together on projects – inside and outside of class?
44% of FY students frequently work with other students on projects in class, 35% work with peers on assignments outside of class.

How often do students make class presentations?
37% of FY students report that they make frequent presentations in class.

How many students participate in community-based projects in regular courses?
11% of FY students frequently participate in service-learning or community-based projects during a given year. 66% never took part in such activities.

How many students apply their classroom learning to real life through internships or off-campus field experiences?
By their senior year, 51% of students have participated in some form of practicum, internship, field experience, co-op, or clinical assignment.

Do students have opportunities to tutor or teach other students?
17% of seniors frequently assist their fellow students by tutoring or teaching them.