Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New Study on Active Learning

The University of Washington recently published a new study about active learning in classrooms in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which shows that students performance improves in STEM courses through an active teaching style. According to the study, the students improve their grades by an impressive 6%--the difference between a B+ and an A. Compared to the standard lectures that many teachers use, the study suggests that employing a change every 10 minutes with active teaching and learning techniques will allow more students to succeed. By using methods like groups, open questions, calling random students, and using clickers, the teacher engages the students and encourages them to actively participate and learn while they are in class.

To support these findings, the group responsible for the study at the University of Washington, Freeman and his colleagues, analyzed 225 studies on undergraduates in STEM classes and the teaching methods used in those classes. After culling the data from these studies, the group learned that making students participate rather than just listen improved their exam scores and reduced their failure rates.

This study is great news for the STEM Gateway since we have been promoting the benefits of active learning in classrooms and helping with course reforms to allow active learning!

For a link to the article: Click here!

For a link to the study: Click here!