19 Active Learning Statistics that Reveal Its True Potential

March 21, 2024

Active Learning Statistics

Active learning is a way of teaching that encourages students to discuss and collaborate with their peers in group activities. 

Instead of just listening to lectures or reading, students talk about topics, solve problems, study real-life cases, and work on projects. Some institutions promote such learning techniques in a remote set up using technology like virtual classroom software. This improves their learning experience and teaches them how to think deeply, understand new information, and apply knowledge in real-life circumstances.

Using a method called Think-Pair-Share, students are encouraged to think about a question independently, pair up to discuss it with their peers and share insights with the whole group. 

Instructors use role-playing scenarios and interactive lectures to facilitate a better learning environment. Let’s look at what the data suggests about the present state of active learning and discover people’s opinions. 

Top active learning statistics

Active participation and engagement with teaching content help students understand better and retain more. Active learning justifies its adoption with improvements in students’ performance and grades. These stats help us discover how students and teachers feel about it. 

  • Active learning could save about $3.5 million in tuition. 
  • If a student scores above 50% of students in a traditional lecture, they score higher than 68% in an active learning lecture. 
  • 25% of low-income students cannot access technology to study or complete assignments. 
  • Active learning reduces achievement gaps in examination scores by 33% and narrows passing rate inadequacies by 45%.


of students prefer a hybrid learning environment.

Source: Kaltura

  • Instructors think they spend about 65% of their time teaching, and based on observations in passive learning, they spend nearly 78.5% of their time teaching. 
  • 65% of students prefer an in-person learning environment rather than hybrid or remote.  

Traditional learning vs. active learning statistics

Traditional learning involves instructors delivering content through lectures. Students typically listen and take notes with limited opportunities for interaction or discussion. 

With active learning, students participate in activities that encourage critical thinking. It focuses on group work and problem-solving, promoting teamwork and communication skills. Let’s see how numbers compare the two learning methods.

  • Traditional learning classes can have a failure rate of 1.5 times higher than active learning classes.
  • Examination scores in active learning classes improved by about 6%. 
  • Active learning can help improve grades by half a letter.


of students failed traditional lecturing courses, compared to 22% in active learning classes.

Source: Wired

  • Examination failure rates in traditional learning increase by 55% compared to active learning. 
  • 70% of students feel online learning is better than traditional classroom learning. 
  • The National Academy of Sciences found students feel as if they learn more through traditional classes. However, they learned more by engaging in classes and adopting active learning strategies. 

Active learning in universities and schools

Both traditional and active learning have their place in education. The choice depends on objectives, subject matter, and student needs. 

While traditional learning delivers lots of information to a broad audience, active learning is better suited for deepening understanding. Ideally, a blend of both approaches provides a complete educational experience. 

Let’s look at how universities and schools view active learning from a traditional viewpoint. 

  • Montana State University observed their pass rate rise from 63% to 81% in Mathematics and from 65% to 86% in Introductory Statistics in active learning classes compared to traditional lecture halls. 
  • A 5% improvement in final grades was observed in active learning classrooms by Montana State University observed a 5% improvement for final grades in active learning classrooms.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has had active learning classrooms since 2001. These classes have circular tables to encourage students to collaborate and discuss. This learning style has cut the failure rate in introductory physics by 50% compared to traditional classes.
  • North Carolina State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology observed lower failure rates and increased conceptual understanding in active learning classes compared to lecture-based teaching. 
  • Instructors spend less time at the podium and more time leading group activities in active learning classes. 

Make learning active

Active learning has great benefits along with some challenges. Teachers can use more time planning activities, but students take longer to adjust. Instructors might also find it difficult to manage a classroom in the initial days. 

However, the above statistics show active learning helps students learn better. It makes classroom time more meaningful and prepares students better for their future careers. 

Learn more about classroom management software to increase student engagement in your classes.

virtual classroom software
Raise your hand!

Find the right virtual classroom software to host classes remotely with the same functionality available in a traditional classroom environment.

virtual classroom software
Raise your hand!

Find the right virtual classroom software to host classes remotely with the same functionality available in a traditional classroom environment.

19 Active Learning Statistics that Reveal Its True Potential Explore the latest active learning statistics to see how it compares to traditional teaching. Discover what students and teachers have to say. https://learn.g2.com/hubfs/G2CM_FI879_Learn_Article_Images_%5Bactive_learning_statistics%5D_V1b.png
Sagar Joshi Sagar Joshi is a former content marketing specialist at G2 in India. He is an engineer with a keen interest in data analytics and cybersecurity. He writes about topics related to them. You can find him reading books, learning a new language, or playing pool in his free time. https://learn.g2.com/hubfs/Sagar%20JoshiUpdated.jpeg https://www.linkedin.com/in/sagarjoshi9/

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