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E.L. Mara

Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu (ROMANIA)
According to Boswell and Eison, active learning strategies are represented by a variety of activities that have a common element, namely involving the students and getting them to think about what they are doing and how they are doing it. They can happen during the class or outside the school; they can also be done individually or in a pair/group. These strategies can be created in order to help students think creatively or critically, to encourage them to express their opinions through writing or to make them reflect on the process of learning.

However, the use of active learning strategies involves certain risks, which were classified by Boswell & Eison as having higher risks than the traditional ones. The involvement of the students differs, too, but this time in favour of active learning, i.e. students are more involved in the activities. Thus, among the traditional strategies that imply a lower risk, we can mention brainstorming, demonstrations, examinations, or lectures. On the other hand we can talk about high risks when it comes to active strategies like small-group presentations and discussions, role playing or individual presentations. These risks can be overcome if teachers introduce active learning strategies gradually. In fact, teachers should first determine what the techniques they are comfortable with. Then, they should choose the ones that are appropriate for implementation. Finally, they should carefully plan the activity, taking into account the time, materials needed and structure.