Students learn best and retain knowledge the longest when they engage material actively. Indeed, experts agree that active student learning is an essential component of effective educational practices. For example, in their seminal work on best teaching practices in undergraduate education, Arthur Chickering and Zelda Gamson elaborate: "Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just sitting in classes, listening to teachers talk, reading pre-packaged assignments, memorizing, and then spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences, apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves" (AAHE Bulletin 39: 3-7). Take a look at some of the articles or links on this page for ideas about active learning and how you might incorporate those ideas into your teaching.
Why is Active Learning Important? from the Campus Instructional Consulting website.
Waking up the Lecture Hall An article about active learning techniques from Research and Creativity.