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Politecnico di Milano

Engaging Students in Active Learning

Students and teachers: their relationship gravitates around learning. Look at reality from different perspectives, and fit learning objectives into each scenario to create an engaging and driven learning experience. These are the basis of active learning.

If you are a POLIMI student you have to log in using your Person Code. This is the only way to prove your participation in this course for official recognition.

Course Description

This MOOC, “Engaging Students in Active Learning”, is part of the “MOOCs for Teachers” series. It is addressed mainly to teachers who want to improve their effective support to students. It is also addressed to the ones who already engage students in their lessons, but still want to re-think about it and enhance even further the results of this collaboration. Any other participant interested in understanding the dynamics of learning is welcome to bring his/her distinct perspective.

The collaboration between all the subjects involved (teachers, students and tutors); the open-minded approach to embrace the perspective of each participant; the courage to continuously try something new; and the strong attitude to make students succeed are some of the key factors for an effective learning experience.

In this MOOC you’ll have the chance to listen about these factors directly from the voice of teachers who are familiar with active learning in very different contexts. You will have the chance to listen some tips to try active learning in your course, and go through a set of tools we will provide you and some useful resources shared by other institutions: you are invited to adapt them to your learning goals and try them in your classes.

In this MOOC you’ll meet the following guests: Azra Aksamija (Associate Professor at MIT, USA) Katsusuke Shigeta (Associate Professor at Hokkaido University, Japan), Patricia Christie (PhD, instructor at Experimental Study Group, MIT, USA) and Jonathan Velázquez (Associate Professor, at Inter American University of Puerto Rico, USA).

Total workload of the course: 13 hours

This MOOC is provided by Politecnico di Milano, in collaboration with UNIT (Université Numérique Ingénierie et Technologie)

Université Numèrique Ingénierie et Technologie

Information about fees and access to materials

The course is delivered in online mode and is available free of charge.

Course materials will remain available to all enrolled users after the end of the current edition, so they can return to content later. The current course edition will be followed by a new one just after its end.

Learning schedule

The MOOC is organized in 5 weeks:

  • Week 0 - Introduction
  • Week 1 - Concrete experiences of Active Learning
  • Week 2 - Reflect in the design and delivery of the activities
  • Week 3 - The theory beyond practice
  • Week 4 - Your turn to be active!
  • The pedagogical approach adopted in this MOOC

You’ll have the chance to choose among three different levels of involvement, even if there is no explicit distinction in the contents, considering the effort you may put in it: reading and viewing, communication and production paths are available.

Week 0 is an introduction to the MOOC, its structure and the main subject we are dealing with.

From week 1 to week 4 you’ll find the core part of the MOOC, dealing with Active Learning: you’ll start from concrete experiences and, through a deep reflection on them and a guided analysis of the theoretical background, you’ll reach the “hands on” part, in which you’ll have the chance to start using this approach for your own course’s design.

Finally yet importantly, there is a final section, which focuses on the pedagogical approach applied in this MOOC as a whole. This section has been designed and developed by Université Numérique Ingénierie et Technologie. In this section you’ll have the chance, as a teacher, to reflect on the overall design phase of a course, as a meta-level.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By actively participating in this MOOC, you will achieve different intended learning outcomes (ILOs).

Week 1 - Concrete experiences of Active Learning

  1. Define the concept of active learning
    ESCO: education science
  2. Go through some concrete experiences based on active learning and coming from different scenarios around the world
  3. Define your personal learning outcomes for this course

Week 2 - Reflect on the design and delivery of the activities

  1. Follow our guests sharing what they expected to obtain applying active learning strategies
  2. Reflect on the design strategies applied in their courses
    ESCO: instructional design models
  3. Analyse the challenges that may be encountered while applying active learning, in order to recognize them soon enough when designing the next learning path for your students
    ESCO: learning needs analysis

Week 3 - The theory beyond practice

  1. Describe the methodologies that sustain active learning
    ESCO: education science ESCO: pedagogy ESCO: instructional design models
  2. Identify the most effective active learning strategies you may want to try
  3. Link the definition of deep learning together with the activities that foster it most
  4. Point out the strategies adopted by our guests and find what might suit your goals at best
    ESCO: apply teaching strategies

Week 4 - Your turn to be active!

  1. Find some example of templates coming from literature and from our guests' experiences: you can reuse and adapt them to your learning goals in order to design activities for your courses
    ESCO: apply teaching strategies ESCO: conduct educational activities
  2. Recognize our guests' tips and tricks about designing activities for learning, in order to avoid some mistakes and make the most of your experiences with students
    ESCO: perform classroom management ESCO: adapt teaching to student's capabilities

The pedagogical approach adopted in this MOOC

  1. Show the importance of the teaching approach you adopt in your courses
    ESCO: education science ESCO: pedagogy
  2. Put forward arguments about the mix between your role as a teacher, the teaching and learning strategies adopted and the flipped classroom approach
    ESCO: teaching and training


No prerequisite knowledge is required for this course, even if previous experience in didactics and teaching will be helpful. The course is mainly addressed to professors and teachers, at all levels, who are willing to think about some innovation in their pedagogical approach.


Over and above consulting the content, in the form of videos and other web-based resources (the reading path), you will have the opportunity to discuss course topics and to share ideas with your peers in the Forum of this MOOC (the communication path). The forum is freely accessible and participation is not guided. You can also perform design activities to build your own courses using templates and suggestions about new assessment strategies (the production path).

In addition to these different types of activities and levels of involvement, the course entails questions in the form of self-assessment quizzes or as hints for reflection, as well as discussion activities in the Forum and design activities in WEEK 4. You are not required to answer these questions or participate to activities to complete the course, but we strongly believe they offer you a concrete opportunity to improve your knowledge! Instead, the quiz you will find at the end of the core WEEKs (except WEEK 0 and the final section on the pedagogical approach) will be evaluated.


The final grade for the course is based on results from your responses to the quizzes you will find at the end of each week (except Week 0 and the final section on the pedagogical approach). You will successfully complete the course if you reach 60% (or more) of the total score by the end of the edition. The course’s total score will be calculated by averaging the scores of the assessed quizzes for each individual week.

Certificate of Accomplishment

The Certificate of Accomplishment will be released to anyone who successfully completed the course by answering correctly to at least 60% of the questions. You will be able to download the Certificate of Accomplishment directly on the website.

Once you have successfully passed the course, you can request the Certificate of Accomplishment without waiting for the end of the edition.

The Certificate of Accomplishment does not confer any academic credit, grade or degree.

European Qualifications Framework Level

EQF Level 6

Thematic area (ISCED-F classification)

011 Education

0111 Education Science

Discussion Forum

The forum of this MOOC is freely accessible and participation is not guided; you can use it to compare yourself with other participants, or to discuss course contents with them.

Contact details

If you have any enquiries about the course or if you need technical assistance please contact For further information, see FAQ page.

Course Faculty

This MOOC is the result of a proficient collaboration between many people, at international level. Politecnico di Milano - METID had the chance to enjoy working closely with UNIT partners and to benefit from the kind availability of many international teachers, who already experienced flipped classroom approach.

Paola Corti

Paola Corti

Paola Corti is a Project Manager at Politecnico di Milano – METID; she is an instructional designer involved in MOOCs design and production for POK platform. She coordinated the design of the course, involved international testimonials, together with other curators, in order to collect the experiences available in this MOOC, and she kept together the design and the production groups… and many are things needed : )

Ariane Dumont

Ariane Dumont

Ariane Dumont, Professor at the Western Switzerland University of Applied Sciences, Educational Developer and responsible for promoting innovation in pedagogy. She will nicely guide you through some interesting models, which can support you in exploring and experimenting OERs according to her experience, which she is eager to share with us.

Aude Pichon

Aude Pichon

Aude Pichon, Advisor in Pedagogy in the Center for Professional Development in Education at the Ecole des Mines in Nantes and Coordinator, she has been in charge of the pedagogical development within uTOP (UNIT) in France. She not only advises on teacher training projects, but also develops them and leads them either face-to-face or remotely.

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  1. Classes Start

    May 15, 2023
  2. Classes End

    May 12, 2024
  3. Length

    5 Weeks
  4. Estimated Effort

    1-2 hours/week
  5. Language

  6. Course Number

  7. MOOCs For Teachers