This is essentially the transition from Transmissionism to Constructivism: from re-reading thinking he’ll “soak up” the information to constructing the knowledge through self-explaining and self-testing.
Generative learning is helping learners to actively make sense of the material so they can build meaningful learning outcomes that allow them to transfer what they have learned to solving new problems.
Learning is a generative activity when learners actively generate their own learning outcomes by interpreting what is presented to them rather than by simply receiving it as presented.
Suppose you sit down to read a book chapter, you attend a PowerPoint lecture, or you view an online multimedia presentation. You are proficient at reading and listening, so you can easily understand all the words. Yet, when you are finished with the lesson, you are not able to apply what you have learned to new situations or to use the material to solve problems. What could you have done to help you understand the material rather than simply to process every word?
Our proposed solution is that you could engage in generative learning strategies during learning – activities that are intended to prime appropriate cognitive processing during learning (such as paying attention to the relevant information, mentally organizing it, and integrating it with your relevant prior knowledge).