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Structured Active In-class Learning (SAIL)

Using in-class time for students to engage actively with the material is the essence of Structured, Active, In-class Learning (SAIL). Teaching a SAIL class provides students with the opportunity to struggle through the application of course ideas and material, often the most difficult part of learning for students, with guidance from instructors as well as help from their peers.

To prepare students for that in-class work, instructors often ask students to master some content before coming to class. Evidence suggests that, if done well, this method of teaching can improve learning for students of all ability and preparation levels. Doing this well, however, requires planning the structured in-class exercises, determining how to guide students' work with those activities effectively, and, in some courses, transferring some content knowledge to students outside of class.

To support this, instructors may consult with CETLI, participate in a monthly CETLI seminar on SAIL teaching or have their TAs or LAs take part in CETLI's SAIL TA Training program.

Penn has several classrooms designed specifically for structured, active learning. To learn more about such rooms at Penn, see SAIL Classrooms at Penn. To request a SAIL classroom, please ask your department coordinator to submit the SAIL Classroom Request Form.