Use Active Learning Techniques for Your Next Cert Exam: Labs, Quizzes
Use Active Learning Techniques for Your Next Cert Exam: Labs, Quizzes
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Use Active Learning Techniques for Your Next Cert Exam: Labs, Quizzes

During your IT certification exam preparation efforts, you may be surprised that not all learning is the same in terms of how your brain encodes and processes information. Two different forms of learning that have been identified by psychologists are active learning and passive learning. Both active and passive learning are required for the absorption of knowledge. However, they are different modes of learning and therefore are complementary.

To ensure success on exam day, you need to incorporate both into your study strategy. However, online learning restricts the types of learning that can occur. Therefore, you will need to be creative in your online active versus passive learning endeavors.

Let’s learn about active learning, passive learning, and how they can be used together for the best IT cert exam preparation experience.

What is Active Learning?

Active learning refers to any instructional approach in which students actively engage in the learning process. Active learning can be achieved in any educational discipline and take shape in different ways. Individual or group activities focused on writing, talking, reflection, or problem-solving are forms of active learning.

Active learning techniques range from simple to complex. Simple active learning techniques include writing, self-assessment, reflection, large-group discussions, and peer review. More complex active learning can include hands-on technology such as labs, interactive lectures, educational games, and experiential learning.

Active learning should be used in the educational environment because it is proven to improve student outcomes and maximize learning. Research in the engineering disciplines shows that active learning activities are effective, leading to improvements in critical thinking skills, interpersonal skills, and promote academic success in courses. Active learning can also improve student motivation, which is linked to attention and memory consolidation — leading to a better learning experience overall.

CBT Nuggets training promotes active learning through virtual labs, coaching services, community-based learning, and practice exams. These active learning methodologies ensure that learners preparing for IT certifications exam can engage with the material. This includes grappling with content by working on problems, discussing key concepts with other members of the CBT Nuggets Learner Community or completing virtual labs.

The benefits of active learning also include improved conceptual understanding composed to other traditional forms of learning such as lecture, which are typically considered passive learning.

What is Passive Learning?

Passive learning is the most traditional model of learning, having been oft-used in education for centuries. As its name implies, it revolves around individuals take a passive role in their learning. Passive learners absorb information and knowledge without engaging with the information. This means that, while active learning is student-centered, passive learning is instructor-centered. Passive learning refers to a method of instruction in which students receive information from the teacher and internalize it, without obtaining any instructor feedback.

Passive learning does offer many advantages, it offers exposure to new material in a way that can be referenced later (e.g., reviewed again or utilized in more active learning methodologies such as quizzes or labs). Passive learning environments also provide greater control by the instructor over the classroom, audience, or students.

Instructional materials in passive learning contexts can be prepared in advance, which contain all the information needed for learners. Another advantage of passive learning is that a large amount of information can be presented in a short time. A great benefit of passive learning is that it has the potential to facilitate active learning, for example, in the form of large-class communication.

The main disadvantage of passive learning techniques is that there is an assumption that students will be able to consume large amounts of information and digest it successfully. There is insufficient opportunity, with passive learning methods, to determine how well students are learning and performing in a given course. Students may be reluctant to disclose that they do not understand the material, or ask questions in a large-class lecture format, which will hurt them in the long run, as it reduces learning.

Another drawback to passive learning is that it requires the instructor to have effective and engaging speaking skills. Passive learning emphasizes familiarity with the information — rather than being able to demonstrate a more profound understanding.

Despite its disadvantages, passive learning is much easier to implement than active learning methods. Passive learning can reach a larger audience. Large lectures and massive open online courses rely on passive learning to reach a larger audience.

Applying Active and Passive Learning to Online Training

CBT Nuggets provides both active and passive learning within its learning platform. For example, quizzes embedded in training videos help learners not only familiarize themselves with material (a passive learning process), but test their knowledge (an active learning process). Passive learning material can be reviewed in a more active format to boost learning. Indeed, this is the essence of the CBT Nuggets model.

Whether you are studying for Microsoft or AWS certification with CBT Nuggets, you can enjoy an interactive learning experience, which is proven to boost learning. Streaming videos provide the passive learning and curriculum needed for active learning tools, including quizzes, practice exams, virtual labs. CBT Nuggets was designed to emulate a full-classroom experience for self-paced learners with a variety of different learning styles.

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