Participate in a challenging conversation – Having a conversation slightly above your normal level is definitely active listening. The transformation involved occurs when you're supposed to take what you hear and transform it to some kind of meaning in your head and then give it back to the other person in an engaging manner. Conversing with people on a level slightly above your current is the best way of learning, but since this is sometimes not practically possible, here are lots of other ways of achieving the same results.
Transcribe audio – Simply choose something which is reasonably difficult and do your best to transcribe what you hear, either using characters or pinyin. Try to choose a source which has transcripts, because otherwise you'll have to ask people for help if you fail to transcribe a certain section. You can use a program that allows you to see the audio file, which will enable you to select specific passages to play again.
Expanding transcription – You can transcribe anything you want, including films, cartoons, TV shows, music, podcasts and what you hear people say around you if you live in a Chinese-speaking environment. TV, film and music work very well, because they are almost always transcribed already. Cover up the subtitles, create your own and compare.
Take notes and/or write a summary – Pretend that you're attending a lecture and that there's going to be a quiz or test after it has finished. Take notes that cover the main points of what you hear. After you've finished listening, take you're notes and write a summary. Give the summary to someone and get corrected.
Translate what you hear – You can either try to write it down, in which case you'll need to listen a few times unless you have mad typing skills, or you can translate orally. If you want to judge the outcome, try recording what you're saying as well.
Translated from: hackingchinese