Activity-based teaching is an approach to education focusing on the idea that students should be engaged through actions. This is in contrast to some traditional forms of teaching in which an educator lectures or otherwise relays information to students who are expected to absorb what they are told. In activity-based teaching, an educator serves the function of facilitator, assisting students through the learning process and providing them with guidance. Various actions and tasks can be used in this type of program, allowing students to become directly involved in the learning process, rather than remaining passive.
The purpose of activity-based teaching is for an educator to engage students directly, drawing them into a lesson so that they become a participant in their own learning. Some traditional forms of education often relied upon the educator as a knowledgeable expert who simply provided information to students. In this type of environment, the learners were expected to act as sponges that absorbed information, regardless of any particular type of effort made on their behalf. The students were taught, but there was not necessarily a focus upon them being a participant and actively learning while in a classroom.
In activity-based teaching, however, the educator uses different methods to draw the students into the lesson and make them a partner in their own education. The role of the teacher in this type of environment is to serve as a facilitator to the students, engaging them and making sure they become active in the learning process. This is often accomplished through the creation of different activities and projects that students work on as they learn. Activity-based teaching requires a great deal of effort on the part of the educator. Teachers using this method need to create lessons and plans that provide students with opportunities to take part in their education.
Group work is quite common during activity-based teaching, since it allows students to take on the role of educator and work together to better understand different subjects. In these lessons, students work together in small groups to complete a particular project. Each group then presents information learned after performing the task assigned to it to the rest of the class. The educator in this form of activity-based teaching can observe each group and ensure they stay on task, but otherwise may not need to provide much additional information. As the groups present what they have learned, the teacher guides discussion and ensures that errors are not presented, though otherwise the students become responsible for their own learning.