Active Learning Community of Practice

The Active Learning Community of Practice (ALCOP) is a self-sustaining and driven community. We welcome instructors who practice or are interested in implementing and innovating in active and collaborative learning techniques and spaces. Community members determine what session topics are relevant and help develop and run the meetings. The primary goal is to build a community around the topic of active learning, providing intellectual and operational support towards active learning initiatives around campus.

We generally meet twice each quarter of the academic year. Meetings styles range from practical work sessions, peer-to-peer mentoring, and guest speakers.


ALCOP is looking for individuals willing and eager to expand their current teaching practices. Joining the community provides an opportunity to try new approaches with active and collaborative learning in a range of disciplines and contexts, and to communicate what they have learned with others.

This community is open to all instructors and instructor-supporting staff members at Northwestern. If you are interested in learning more, attending a meeting, or joining the group, please email Jonathan Diehl, Senior Blended Specialist, Teaching & Learning Technologies, Northwestern IT at

The Active Learning Community of Practice is a community driven initiative in partnership with Northwestern IT, the Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching, and the Office of the Provost.


*Active learning refers to a broad range of teaching strategies which engage students as active participants in their learning during class time with their instructor. Typically, these strategies involve some amount of students working together during class, but may also involve individual work and/or reflection. These teaching approaches range from short, simple activities like journal writing, problem solving and paired discussions, to longer, involved activities or pedagogical frameworks like case studies, role plays, and structured team-based learning. Definition from the University of Minnesota Center for Educational Innovation