Active Learning Interview Questions

How to identify and encourage active learners

It’s clearly better to find and support employees who are actively engaged with their learning than those who need to be guided every step of the way. But how do you find these candidates in the first place – and then how do you build an active learning culture? Here are some of the ways you can identify and support active learners.

Employee engagement is a side benefit

The interactive nature of active learning means that employees can feel better supported in their professional development as well as better recognised in their workplace. These are both key drivers of employee engagement, which can in turn improve employee retention and performance.

An active learner can find it easier to upskill and retrain as time goes on. They can make the most of their digital learning skills and embrace new learning opportunities with enthusiasm. This helps both the employee and organisation to stay up-to-date with changing technologies and business needs, and face new challenges with confidence.

Successful active learning is driven both by employee and employer, so it pays to consider both sides of this equation.

Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult challenge.

Brown says that with either of these questions, the interviewer wants to hear: “When you come across things that are obstacles, how do you overcome them?” In other words, the interviewer wants to see that you can solve problems in an intentional way. Brown also emphasizes that accomplishments and challenges often come hand in hand. So answering this question shows “that drive for achievement” that interviewers want to see in teachers.

How to answer

Rule #1: Don’t say, “Summer vacations!” But seriously—this one should be easy to answer. There’s probably something that made you want to get into education. Maybe you enjoy teaching your friends new things, are a facts wizard bursting with knowledge, or love connecting with children. Focus not just on what you like about teaching but also on what you can bring to the table.

For example, you might say: “I really admired my third grade teacher, Mrs. Kim, and even after I left her class I still returned to her for advice and guidance over the years. It’s that sense of warmth and acceptance she provided me that inspired me to become a teacher. I want to be that person others can lean on as they navigate the rough waters of growing up.”

Tell me about a time when you worked with a team to solve a problem.

Parents and students aren’t the only people you’ll be interacting with. You’ll frequently need to partner with aides, school staff, and other teachers to help students succeed, so your interviewer wants to know that you can work with just about anyone.

How does active learning work? Some examples of active learning

You can think of active learning as any method where learners can immediately engage with, reflect on and/or apply the knowledge they’re gaining. This can encompass a vast variety of learning styles and methods, including:

  • Quizzes or tests, carried out at any point in a lesson to reinforce key points and correct any early misunderstandings.
  • Group discussions, where the relevant concepts and context can be explored together.
  • Interactive lessons, where learners may be asked to extrapolate on a concept, share their reaction to the information, debate positions or check their knowledge.
  • Case studies, where the information can be applied and explored in a real-world scenario.
  • Other examples of active learning can include:

  • Watching a demo and then physically practising the skill.
  • Conducting additional research and taking notes.
  • Networking with professionals in that skill field.
  • Practising or applying what was learned on the job.
  • Analysing or evaluating information.
  • Identifying and solving related problems.
  • Exploring concepts and related challenges in work teams.
  • These types of learning styles can be highly effective. So why does active learning work? Because it can help a learner to apply new information to their existing knowledge base, add context, clarify any uncertainties and activate new neural pathways, for a lesson that’s better retained. Active learning is learning that sticks.

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