The now famous seven principles for good practice in undergraduate teaching published by Chickering and Gamson in the mid 1980s recognized the importance of engaging students through what we now call active learning approaches.
- encourages contact between students and faculty
- develops reciprocity and cooperation among students
- encourages active learning
- gives prompt feedback
- emphasizes time on task
- communicates high expectations
- respects diverse talents and ways of learning
There are some fine examples in the original article (linked above).