Pearson Activelearn: A teacher's guide

Paul Main

Pearson Activelearn: A teacher's guide

What is Pearson ActiveLearn?

The ActiveLearn digital service is an online learning platform that provides students with the tools to learn and teachers with the resources they need. The site offers an extensive library of interactive lessons for K-12 classrooms in English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and other subjects. Teachers can also use the site's lesson plans as well as its collection of over 100,000 teaching videos from PBS LearningMedia. Students have access to thousands of practice tests, quizzes, games, and activities designed by experts at ACT®. In addition, there are more than 1 million pages of content available on the site. Thousands of teachers use the interactive activities on the Pearson platform. The collaborative learning activities or is equally popular for secondary students as they are for their primary counterparts. The interactive activities can be used to promote independent learning in class or at home.

ActiveLearn has been a part of Pearson since 2007. It was originally called "Pearson e-Learning" and was developed by Pearson Education Canada. The company acquired ActiveLearn in 2008. In 2011, Pearson launched a new version of ActiveLearn which included a redesigned interface, improved navigation, and enhanced functionality. The name change to ActiveLearn reflects the fact that it is now an active learning platform for instructors and students alike. It's no longer just about delivering content; it's also about engaging learners with interactive activities and exercises. ActiveLearn is available on both desktop and mobile platforms. You can access your courses from any device you use - whether it be a laptop or tablet.


History of ActiveLearn

In 1998, ACT launched a pilot program called "ACT Online" which was intended to provide high school students with opportunities to earn college credit through their participation in courses offered via the Internet. This project proved successful enough to warrant further development into what would become known as ACT Learn.

On September 15, 2000, ACT announced the launch of ACT Learn, a new Web-based educational initiative aimed at providing middle and secondary schools around the world with easy access to quality instructional materials. At this time, the company began offering two types of services:

A subscription model where users could purchase individual subscriptions or pay per course; and a freemium model where all features were freely accessible but some features required payment. On October 31, 2001, ACT introduced the first version of ACT Learn, featuring only one type of product—a subscription model.

By 2003, ACT had expanded its offerings beyond just education products to include business training programs such as ACT Business Essentials™ and ACT Career Advantage™. These programs provided businesses with affordable ways to train employees and improve productivity.

As part of its expansion efforts, ACT acquired several companies including eLearning World Inc., a provider of web-based distance learning solutions, in 2004. With these acquisitions came additional technology platforms and expertise needed to support the growth of ACT Learn. As a result, ACT developed a number of innovative technologies to help make it easier for educators to create engaging classroom experiences using the latest advances in multimedia design, interactivity, and mobile computing.

In 2005, ACT added another dimension to its growing portfolio when it purchased Knowledge Adventure, a leading developer of virtual worlds. Through this acquisition, ACT gained access to a wide range of proprietary software applications used to develop immersive environments for both academic and entertainment purposes.

 ActiveLearn's time saving resources and tools allow teachers to quickly build interactive lessons that engage learners while helping them master concepts. The same year, ACT released an updated version of ACT Learn, adding many new features and enhancements.

The following year saw the introduction of ACT TestPrep®, a comprehensive test preparation service that provides online tutoring and study aids to prepare students for standardized exams like the SATs, GREs, GMATs, LSATs, MCATs, DATs, ASVAB, AP Exams, and others.

Today, ACT is recognized worldwide as the leader in digital literacy instruction.  

ActiveLearn's Learning Package

ActiveLearn is a comprehensive learning package designed specifically for use by K–12 instructors who want to deliver high-quality content through their own websites. It includes everything from lesson plans to assessments to quizzes to games to videos to simulations. In addition, ACT offers a variety of other products and services, including professional development opportunities, consulting services, and custom curriculum creation. Learning with videos has become very popular especially since the pandemic. This approach that aims to create active learning experiences for kids of all ages has been adopted in schools around the globe.

Active learn screenshot
Active Learn Dashboard

ActiveLearn Live!

ACT also provides live online training sessions that can be used as stand alone or supplemental resources for your courses. These webinars provide an opportunity for you to interact with the instructor on site at our corporate office in San Mateo, CA. The cost per session ranges between $1,000-$2,500 depending upon the number of participants. For more information about this service please contact Pearson directly.

Learning Management System

The ActiveLearn LMS allows teachers to create lessons, assignments, tests, quizzes, etc., using any combination ActiveLearn Live. The ActiveLearn LMS allows teachers to create lessons, assignments, tests, quizzes, etc., using any combination of text, images, video clips, audio files, links, animations, interactive elements, and/or graphics. Teachers may upload these materials directly into the system or they may link them from external sources such as YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, Google Video, SoundCloud, iTunes U, TED Talks, Wikipedia, Khan Academy, Open Culture, MIT OCW, Coursera, Udacity, edX, and many others. Students access all course material via the Internet. They do not need to download anything onto their computers.  


Active Learn Secondary Schools
Activelearn Secondary Schools

What is ActiveLearn Primary?

ActiveLearn Primary's learning management system is a web-based application that can be accessed by students anywhere in the world with an internet connection. It provides easy navigation for both instructors and learners. Instructors have full control over what content appears on each page of the site. Learners are able to navigate through pages easily without having to log in every time. All student information is stored securely within the database so it cannot be viewed by anyone other than authorized users. This ensures privacy and security for your data. What about Secondary schools? ActiveLearn Secondary offers two different types of courses: Standard Course and Advanced Course. Both offer similar features but differ slightly in how they work.

The ActiveLearn free trial version includes everything you would expect from a fully functional online school including lesson plans, assessments, grades, attendance tracking, communication tools, and much more! You will also receive one free month of unlimited use after which there will be no additional charges. The video tutorials show you how to create lessons using ActiveLearn. These tutorials were created specifically for course creators. They cover all aspects of creating lessons such as adding images, text boxes, links, quizzes, etc. Each tutorial has been broken down into several sections making them easier to follow along with. 

ActiveLearn Bug Club
ActiveLearn Bug Club


How do I login to ActiveLearn?

Enter your email address and password and click "Login". If you don't already have an account, please register for one. Once logged in, you should see the following screen: Clicking on any link or image will take you directly to that section of the website. For example, if you want to view the home page, just type in your browser window. There are many ways to customize this interface. Some examples include changing colors, fonts, backgrounds, and even hiding certain parts of the interface. Select the resource file you wish to upload then select Upload File. After uploading the file, you'll need to rename it before saving it. Renaming files is very important because these are automatically named according to their category.

ActiveLearn Login
ActiveLearn Login

 What else can you do with Activelearn?

1. Create a new class

2. Add resources to your class

3. Assign students to classes

4. View assignments

5. Grade assignments

6. Send messages to students

7. Track attendance

8. See who hasn’t completed homework yet

9. Review previous tests/quizzes

10. Set up automatic grading

11. Use the calendar to schedule activities

12. Manage announcements

13. Schedule events

Four ways to use Pearson Activelearn Primary

1) Create Lessons - Use this feature to add new activities to your class. Add questions, videos, pictures, audio clips, interactive elements, and more.

2) Assign Activities - Choose specific activities for individual students based on their needs.

3) Grade Student Work - View assignments, mark tests, and assign homework.

4) Communicate With Your Class - Send messages to your entire class at once or individually. Teachers can send announcements, reminders, and invitations to participate in discussions.  

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