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Active learning goes by many names and can assume many forms, such as pairs of students conducting peer reviews, small groups of students discussing the assigned reading, or highly-structured cooperative learning projects that extend over the entire quarter.
Regardless of the specific form, active learning more often than not involves students working together toward a common goal.
And recent studies in cognitive science suggest that collaborative structures may deepen learning by giving students the opportunity to rehearse, manipulate, and elaborate on knowledge.
Give students a list of questions or prompts--either ahead of time or during class--to respond to (e.g., “What is your topic? In 3 minute rounds, students share their responses and their “date” gives suggestions and/or feedback.