Activity-based strategies encourage students to learn by doing. They provide authentic, real-life opportunities for students to participate in active, self-directed learning experiences where they have opportunities to explore, make choices, solve problems, and interact with others. Activity-based learning is often referred to as project-based learning and shares many of the goals of independent and cooperative learning. Students progress through activities at their own pace, interest, and developmental level. At the same time, students take responsibility for their learning and gain lifelong skills of collaboration and negotiation.
Although active learning experiences are student-centred and promote choice and independence, the teacher must set up routines and expectations for learning and monitor the results through appropriate recording devices – for example, check-lists or journal entries. Teachers invite willing participation in activity-based strategies by ensuring that content and activities are relevant and stimulating for students. Activities such as debate, rehearsal, retelling, and simulation engage students in authentic learning and validate their learning by having them present to an appropriate audience. Games and field trips can bring abstract concepts into more concrete and visible understandings for students. Activity-based learning is motivational for many students, as they experience learning situations that are diverse and related to real-life experiences.