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A SCALE-UP Mock-Up: Comparison of Student Learning Gains in High- and Low-Tech Active-Learning Environments

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Abstract

Student-centered learning environments with upside-down pedagogies (SCALE-UP) are widely implemented at institutions across the country, and learning gains from these classrooms have been well documented. This study investigates the specific design feature(s) of the SCALE-UP classroom most conducive to teaching and learning. Using pilot survey data from instructors and students to prioritize the most salient SCALE-UP classroom features, we created a low-tech ?Mock-up? version of this classroom and tested the impact of these features on student learning, attitudes, and satisfaction using a quasi-?experimental setup. The same instructor taught two sections of an introductory biology course in the SCALE-UP and Mock-up rooms. Although students in both sections were equivalent in terms of gender, grade point average, incoming ACT, and drop/fail/withdraw rate, the Mock-up classroom enrolled significantly more freshmen. Controlling for class standing, multiple regression modeling revealed no significant differences in exam, in-class, preclass, and Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology Concept Inventory scores between the SCALE-UP and Mock-up classrooms. Thematic analysis of student comments highlighted that collaboration and whiteboards enhanced the learning experience, but technology was not important. Student satisfaction and attitudes were comparable. These results suggest that the benefits of a SCALE-UP experience can be achieved at lower cost without technology features.

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... Since ALCs are very different than a traditional classroom or lecture hall, both in layout and classroom technology, constructing ALCs or retrofitting existing spaces can be expensive [15]. In recent years, a number of alternatives to traditional ALCs have been developed such as Mock-up [16], Computer on Wheels (CoWs) [17] and Practical Active Learning Stations (PALS) [18]. These alternatives are inspired by spaces such as SCALE-UP but built from commodity hardware and open-source solutions or by limiting the amount of technology. ...
... These alternatives are inspired by spaces such as SCALE-UP but built from commodity hardware and open-source solutions or by limiting the amount of technology. Initial studies and reports in other scientific fields such as biology indicate that these flexible and economical classrooms provide the same performance benefits as traditional ALCs [16]. ...
... It is noteworthy that some of the prior work from other disciplines that investigated lower cost alternatives to ALC models such as SCALE-UP did not report value in replicating the higher-tech aspects of a ALC [16]. Further study and evaluation of these lower budget classrooms is warranted as it may provide further evidence and understanding of these alternatives, particularly for students in computing and engineering disciplines. ...
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Project-based learning often centers learning experiences around projects and is characterized by the application of knowledge, management of resources, and self-directed learning. In recent years, newer classroom designs have been developed to facilitate communication, classroom interaction and active learning but the cost of such spaces can be prohibitive. Here we present two economical options for flexible learning spaces that support the aims of project-based learning and cost much less than typical active learning classroom models. In a quasi-experimental study, one of our economical active learning environments was paired with a traditional classroom and a prototypical active learning classroom. These learning environments were used in a CS2 course that employed a group-based, active learning pedagogy centered on in-class projects. Students’ perceptions were gathered on the classrooms and their supporting technology. Between the economy and prototypical active learning environment, no significant differences were found in students’ perceptions of the space as it related to collaboration and supporting learning. Results from accompany focus groups indicates that the space was conducive to their learning and helped them engage with peers. These economical and flexible options support the aims of project-based learning at a reduced cost.
... Active learning pedagogy has been conclusively shown to increase mastery of course concepts beyond traditional instruction in numerous disciplines (Beichner et al., 2007;Freeman et al., 2014;Hake, 1998;Prince, 2004;Springer, Stanne, & Donovan, 1999), even when little use of electronic technologies (Soneral & Wyse, 2017) are commonly employed. As active learning includes a wide variety of tools and exercises, it is important to examine which active learning tools may be most effective (Singer, Nielsen, & Schweingruber, 2012;Streveler & Meneske, 2017) and for what kinds of students (Eddy & Hogan, 2014). ...
... This research is important given student anxiety and self- efficacy are factors related to learning biomechanical concepts (Wallace & Kernozek, 2017). The high-cost (e.g., instructor training, classroom renovation and electronic technologies) of some active learning initiatives may not be more effective than low- tech alternatives (Soneral & Wyse, 2017). The potential benefits of low-tech and cost- effective active learning exercises in biomechanics are also important to understand that they may be used to benefit economically disadvantaged students or departments. ...
... Our findings are notable considering that neither course utilised a strategy dependent on additional or extensive outside student work. The effectiveness of the low-tech active learning exercises in biomechanics lectures was also consistent with recent research on the efficacy of low-tech active learning pedagogies compared with equivalent high-tech active learning (Soneral & Wyse, 2017). ...
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This study documented student perceptions of five low-tech active learning exercises, their epistemology of learning, and examined the association between these variables and mastery of biomechanics concepts. Students (N = 152) in four introductory biomechanics courses at two universities completed the Biomechanics Concept Inventory (BCI) at the beginning and the end of the course. An additional 10-question survey was used at the end of the course to determine student perceptions of the active learning exercises and their epistemology of learning. Student learning of biomechanical concepts improved over levels reported in previous studies of traditional lecture instruction, but not as much as seen in other studies of active learning pedagogy in biomechanics and physics. Student perceptions of active learning were positive, particularly in individual rather than group exercises. A minority (12—16%) of these students had negative perceptions of group-based active learning exercises. Student perception of epistemology of learning was primarily constructivist; however, there was no evidence of these perceptions had associations with learning biomechanical concepts. Biomechanics instructors planning to use low-tech active learning exercises should communicate their philosophy of learning, expectations for the course, and progressively implement individual-based and group-based active learning experiences early in the course.
... The authors report significant differences in student participation, as well as student grades (for individual assignments and final grades). Other results suggest that it is the active learning pedagogy that is effective in the SCALE-UP project (see Soneral and Wyse, 2017, as well as Stoltzfus and Libarkin, 2016). ...
... Considering the relatively high cost of designing and implementing active learning spaces, identifying crucial aspects of ALC layout is particularly important. In a low-tech SCALE-UP mock-up project, results similar to the original SCALE-UP research were obtained, which suggests that the most expensive technological features of an ALC might not be the most important (Soneral and Wyse, 2017). ...
... These results confirm that from the students' point of view, the most important features of an ALC essentially support collaboration within the work environment-round tables, wall projection surfaces-a finding in line with Soneral and Wyse (2017). The importance of supplying very comfortable rolling chairs was the main finding in the qualitative data. ...
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Since the pedagogical reform undertaken in the field of physics teaching with the SCALE-UP project, research has shown that active learning classrooms (ALC) can lead to substantial gains. The reflection on ALC is now burgeoning, with this area being the number-one focus of university technological investments in 2017. However, even though a kind of ALC standard has emerged (teacher pod at the center of the room, round tables, a projector for each table, etc.), very few researchers actually investigate the precise layout of ALCs and which particular features are the most important from the students' perspective. This is precisely what this study aims to do, relying on the TAM (Technological Adoption Model). The study took place in three colleges in Quebec with ALCs, using a functional analysis approach. In this process, nine functions were identified. A single-item questionnaire was developed around a modified TAM (including interest) and sent to 352 students who rated the frequency of use, utility, interest and ease of use of each of the nine functions. Qualitative data were collected through group interviews with students. Average scores were computed for each construct with the nine functions and they showed satisfactory consistency. Automated text analyses were conducted on the answers to the open-ended question. The results show that from the students' perspective, the most important functions are related to features that facilitate group work (having a team table and using wall surfaces that can support image projections and annotations). Being able to use computers supplied by the college, connect student-owned devices to the team projector and annotate projection surfaces also ranked high. The correlation between frequency of use, interest, utility and ease of use is high and statistically significant. The qualitative data show that having comfortable, movable chairs is also important. The special look and feel of an ALC also seem to make students more comfortable. On a less positive side, some students indicate that visual obstruction is an obstacle in the periods when the teachers lecture in the class. These results may support cost-effective ALC design.
... Previous studies have demonstrated that active learning classrooms have a more significant impact on students' learning outcomes than lecture classrooms (Brooks, 2011;Baepler et al., 2014;Park and Choi, 2014;Byers et al., 2018b;Lo and Hew, 2021). However, lecture classrooms remain the prevalent classroom space on university campuses (Zhong Qiquan, 2015;Soneral and Wyse, 2017), as lectures are the primary teaching method in introductory undergraduate classes, and the proportion of seminars will gradually increase as the grades go up to the graduate level (Merriam et al., 2007). In addition, the larger per capita floor space, and higher costs for furniture and technological equipment compared to lecture classrooms limit active learning classrooms' construction (Soneral and Wyse, 2017). ...
... However, lecture classrooms remain the prevalent classroom space on university campuses (Zhong Qiquan, 2015;Soneral and Wyse, 2017), as lectures are the primary teaching method in introductory undergraduate classes, and the proportion of seminars will gradually increase as the grades go up to the graduate level (Merriam et al., 2007). In addition, the larger per capita floor space, and higher costs for furniture and technological equipment compared to lecture classrooms limit active learning classrooms' construction (Soneral and Wyse, 2017). Conversely, lecture classrooms have a larger student capacity and are more affordable and logistically easier to manage, making them an indispensable learning space in the present day. ...
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Article
Driven and influenced by learning theory and information technology, the form of the classroom environment in higher education is constantly changing. While traditional lecture classrooms focus on efficient learning modes and economical space layouts, active learning classrooms focus more on active learning psychology and adaptive space perception. Although existing studies have explored the development of educational and technological domains in the classroom, a comparative study of these two classroom environments and students’ learning perceptions has not been conducted. Hence, using a questionnaire, this study collected subjective perception reports from 316 students in traditional lecture classrooms versus active learning classrooms. By analyzing Likert scales of student satisfaction in two classroom environments, the study found the following: learning support dimensions in both classroom environments required improvements; space and furniture perception, physical and decorative environment are critical factors in improving students’ perceptions in the lecture classroom; space perception is the critical factor in enhancing students’ perception in the active learning classroom. These findings can serve as good references and useful insights for future classroom design and optimization to build enriched and inclusive learning environments to help students gain a more positive perception of learning.
... (Driessen et al., 2020, p. 6) Recent research on the use of active learning (AL) experiences dramatically improve student learning of biomechanics concepts over mean learning scores reported for lecture alone (Knudson, 2019(Knudson, , 2020Knudson & Wallace, 2021: Riskowski, 2015Wallace & Knudson, 2020). This also agrees with greater learning of mechanics concepts in physics classes using AL compared to traditional physics instruction (Beichner et al., 2007;Freeman et al., 2014;Hake, 1998;Prince, 2004;Soneral et al., 2017;Springer et al., 1999). There is also preliminary evidence that AL can improve negative attitudes students have towards physics (Marusic & Slisko, 2012). ...
... Seventy-five percent of the current international respondents reported familiarity with AL research compared to 81% in 2012 (Garceau et al., 2012). It is possible that despite growing evidence of the greater effectiveness of AL compared to traditional instruction in all areas of science instruction (Beichner et al., 2007;Freeman et al., 2014;Hake, 1998;Prince, 2004;Soneral et al., 2017;Springer et al., 1999), there is no evidence of greater levels of awareness in international biomechanics instructors. The actual percentage of worldwide biomechanics instructors with an awareness of this evidencebased instruction is likely even lower given the possible response bias. ...
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Article
Little is known about worldwide biomechanics instructors use of evidence-based teaching and introductory instruction format relative to the COVID-19 pandemic. International biomechanics instructors’ perspectives were surveyed on the introductory biomechanics instruction, active learning (AL), instructional quality standards, and instructional formats. Responses (n = 181) from college biomechanics instructors were received, with a majority from kinesiology/sport and exercise science (85%), a doctorate in biomechanics (81%), and a mean teaching experience of nine years. The introductory instructional unit/course was primarily (74%) a lecture/lab delivery. Instruction delivery was usually in-person (85%) that transitioned due to the COVID-19 pandemic as fully online (55%) and hybrid (25%). Most instructors (65%) reported being familiar with standards for quality online instruction and guidelines/standards for biomechanics instructional units (51%). Fewer biomechanics instructors (40%) were familiar with related physics education research. A majority (75%) were familiar with the benefits of AL instruction, with 41% using AL for 30–70% of contact time. These data indicate little change in evidence-based instructor teaching internationally compared to previous studies of North American instructors. Biomechanics instructors had similar perceptions of teaching experience across regions of the world but there were qualitative differences in instructional unit timing in the curriculum, instructional delivery, and use of textbooks.
... There has also been a growing diversity of methodological approaches to studying ALCs. For example, using quasiexperiments to compare different types of classrooms, technologies, and teaching strategies (Brooks, 2011;Cotner et al., 2013;Nicol et al., 2018;Soneral & Wyse, 2017;Stoltzfus & Libarkin, 2016;Vercellotti, 2018). Though some of these studies found a direct positive effect of ALCs on student learning (Brooks, 2011;Cotner et al., 2013), others found that the room design and technologies did not directly impact student grades or exam performance when similar active learning practices were used (Nicol et al., 2018;Soneral & Wyse, 2017;Stoltzfus & Libarkin, 2016;Vercellotti, 2018). ...
... For example, using quasiexperiments to compare different types of classrooms, technologies, and teaching strategies (Brooks, 2011;Cotner et al., 2013;Nicol et al., 2018;Soneral & Wyse, 2017;Stoltzfus & Libarkin, 2016;Vercellotti, 2018). Though some of these studies found a direct positive effect of ALCs on student learning (Brooks, 2011;Cotner et al., 2013), others found that the room design and technologies did not directly impact student grades or exam performance when similar active learning practices were used (Nicol et al., 2018;Soneral & Wyse, 2017;Stoltzfus & Libarkin, 2016;Vercellotti, 2018). On the other hand, affective measures in these studies suggest students and instructors in ALCs did have a more positive experience with active learning. ...
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This study examined instructional shifts associated with teaching in environments optimized for active learning, including how faculty made decisions about teaching and their perceptions of how students responded to those changes. The interviews and subsequent analysis reveal a broad range of course changes, from small modifications of existing activities to large shifts towards collaborative learning, many of which emerged during the term rather than being planned in advance. The faculty discuss several factors that influenced their decisions, including prior experience, professional identity, student engagement, as well as perceived and realized affordances of the environments.
... Research examining the utilization of active learning pedagogies compared to lecture-based instruction has shown positive and substantial outcomes in university students' academic performance and learning (Beichner et al., 2007;Dori et al., 2003;Freeman et al., 2014;Prince, 2004;Knudson, 2019;Knudson & Wallace, 2019), engagement (Bolden et al., 2019;Wiltbank et al., 2019), satisfaction (Hyun et al., 2017), and motivation to learn (Adedokum et al., 2017). Additionally, recent reports indicated active learning approaches may be equally effective with both low-tech and high-tech (enhanced with networked computers and displays) implementations (Knudson & Wallace, 2019;Soneral & Wyse, 2017). Thus, there is a growing body of evidence in support of student-centered, active learning instruction in higher education settings. ...
... However, smaller SCALE-UP classrooms utilize D-shaped tables arranged to accommodate classroom space (Beichner, 2014). Other types of classroom seating configurations designed to promote student engagement include mobile square tables with movable chairs (Knudson & Meaney, 2018), moveable rectangular tables (Soneral & Wyse, 2017), trapezoid tables with chairs on coasters and individual mobile chairs (Harvey & Kenyon, 2013). Prior literature comparing traditional classrooms to ALCs are plentiful; however, more investigations are needed to explore differences between distinct ALC designs to inform design decisions and ensure appropriate allocation of limited university funds. ...
Article
Three student engagement measures were collected for a class taught by an experienced instructor in two active learning classrooms with dissimilar seating arrangements. Student perception of engagement was similar between the learning spaces. However, instructor perception and researcher observation indicated greater engagement in the classroom with mobile tables compared to the classroom with mobile desks. STROBE classroom observations indicated qualitatively different student‐to‐student (8% greater), student‐to instructor (3% greater), and student self‐ (6.5% less) engagement in the mobile table classroom over the mobile desks classroom. Instructor and student perceptions may interact to affect student engagement with various designs of active learning classrooms.
... However, these high-tech classrooms require significant investment in fixed classroom equipment such as computers, wall-mounted computer screens, circle tables, and specialized software. 17 The regular teaching classrooms in most universities and colleges only have movable or fixed chairs and desks, a podium with a computer, and a large projection screen. In our previous practice of group studies in those standard classrooms, we found that it lacked a tool to facilitate the instructor's management of the in-class group study and timely communication between the instructor and students to promote deep learning. ...
... The MBCL platform does not require specialized high-tech group study classrooms that need significant investment in fixed classroom equipment such as computers, wall-mounted computer screens, circular tables, and particular software. 17 The MBCL platform can be applied in typical college classrooms as long as the classroom has a podium computer, a projection screen, and a wireless Internet connection. The instructor can toggle between team whiteboards on the classroom projection screen. ...
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Article
As a high-impact educational practice, cooperative learning uses a structured group study to promote students' active learning. Currently, it lacks economical yet effective tools to facilitate the interactive nature of structured cooperative learning in regular classrooms. Here, we have established a mobile technology-based cooperative learning (MBCL) platform that comprises the 2018 iPad, Apple Pencil, LiveBoard, Google Forms, and Google Drive. We tested the MBCL platform in multiple undergraduate biology courses. During semester-long MBCL studies, the students engaged in cooperative learning to discuss a real-life issue or chapter-based contents. With the MBCL platform, the students' group study processes were shown on shared, visible electronic whiteboards that were updated in real-time, generating visible thinking and instant, interactive communication. The instructor was able to guide the students promptly to conduct knowledge integration and knowledge synthesis using tables and diagrams. The deep learning outcome was evident in the examples and quantitative analyses of students' whiteboard study results and team presentations. Thus, integrating innovative mobile technologies into high-impact teaching practices, exemplified by the MBCL platform, promotes deep learning in higher education.
... In particular, ALCs can affect the ways in which faculty and students relate to one another; i.e., the social context of the classroom can undergo beneficial change compared to traditional learning spaces (Walker and Baepler 2017). Significant relative learning gains have also been demonstrated when using active learning strategies in low-technology SCALE-UP mock up classrooms (i.e., low-tech ALC design with moveable rectangular tables and portable whiteboards) (Soneral and Wyse 2017) and when active learning strategies are implemented in traditional, non-ALC settings (Stoltzfus and Libarkin 2016;Soneral and Wyse 2017). The use of interactive learning strategies has also been found to decrease or eliminate the achievement gap between male and female students in undergraduate physics (Lorenzo, Crouch, and Mazur 2006). ...
... Faculty teaching in ALCs, or striving to incorporate more student-centered pedagogies in traditional learning spaces, need iterative support in the form of initial training, practice, feedback, and reflection to effectively facilitate effective student-centered learning experiences. While ALCs invite many kinds of student-centered engagement simply through their physical design and technological amenities, the room itself is not enough (Baepler et al. 2016, 71) Institutions that wish to promote student-centered classroom engagement can communicate institutional support for such high impact practices by investing financially in ALCs or by retrofitting traditional classroom spaces as mock-ALCs (Soneral and Wyse 2017), and by incorporating an explicit focus on effective student-centered teaching in evaluation procedures. To best facilitate effective use of ALCs and student-centered approaches, faculty development and support for reformed teaching should be provided systemically. ...
Article
The primary purpose of this paper is to describe the variety of active engagements that characterize student behaviors in active learning classrooms (ALCs) across an undergraduate degree program. The number of different engagement types observed during a single class meeting varied between two and eight across 23 different courses. Three forms of engagement accounted for nearly 75% of all observed time, regardless of the subgroups (e.g., consistent in STEM vs Non-STEM courses, lower division vs upper division courses). In addition, unique patterns of student engagement characterized the pedagogical “signature” of a given course. We conclude that intensive class observation focused on student engagement not only has value for comprehensive undergraduate program review but also serves as a lever that invites faculty reflection on pedagogical practice toward course improvement.
... Learning was also consistent (g=19%) with a previous study of low-tech AL (Knudson & Wallace, i2019), but qualitatively lower than 4-credit courses (g=25%) with labs (Knudson, Bauer, & Bahamonde, 2009) and more extensive AL instruction (g = 40-48%) in physics (Beichner et al., 2007;Hake, 1998). The improvement in learning with a small implementation of primarily individual-based AL exercises was consistent with the results reported by Knudson and Wallace (2019) and evidence of the efficacy of low-tech AL pedagogies (Soneral & Wyse, 2017). It appears faculty may be able to easily add low-tech, individual-based AL exercises to significantly improve mastery of biomechanics concepts above lecture alone. ...
... There were 4 to 12% of the biomechanics students participating, however, that consistently had negative perceptions of the active learning exercises and responsibility to support other student learning in groupbased exercises. This was within the wide range of percentages (3 to 53%) previously reported for student resistance to active learning pedagogies overall (Cavanagh, 2011;Machemer & Crawford, 2007;Smith & Cardaciotto, 2011;Welsh, 2012;White et al. 2015) and previously reported (12-17%) in biomechanics (Knudson & Meaney, 2018;Knudson & Wallace, 2019). These students may be resistant to AL exercises, expecting the instructor to lecture on specific knowledge to be memorized for examinations and resisting efforts to engage them in discussions on different interpretations or contextual application of knowledge. ...
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Article
This study documented the potential change in student epistemology of learning biomechanical concepts over a 5-week introductory biomechanics course implementing low-tech AL exercises. Twenty-five students agreed to participate and completed a pre-and post-test consisting of the Biomechanics Concept Inventory version 2 and two questions on their perceptions about the nature of learning. The active learning instruction increased mastery of biomechanical concepts over levels previously reported for lecture alone. Most students had positive perceptions of active learning experiences, however, some (4-12%) students had negative perceptions and decreased their interest in working with other students. Student epistemology did not change over the course and was not related to mastery of biomechanics concepts.
... High-end technology requires high costs, hours of professional development, and expensive upgrades. Yet, research suggests that the transformative learning experiences offered by high tech can be achieved with comparable low-tech options and save costs (Soneral & Wyse, 2017). Our paper contributes to the teaching and learning of science by demonstrating some of the potential benefits of a well-designed lowtech science learning environment, MOUNTAIN RESCUE. ...
Article
Background According to the Committee on STEM Education, K-12 science students need access to learning experiences that promote collaboration and engagement. To fill that void, we need to develop activities that stimulate engaged learning and scaffold effective collaboration. K-12 teacher candidates see value in utilizing games for this purpose. Specifically, tabletop science games can help teachers engage students in science learning and scaffold collaboration. Aim For this study, we designed a collaborative, STEM-themed card game called MOUNTAIN RESCUE and explored its capacity to promote engaged learning and collaboration. Method Four groups of STEM campers (n = 14) in a suburban Mid-Atlantic region played MOUNTAIN RESCUE. All groups had a mix of boys and girls. Play-testers ranged from 10–13 years old. The tabletop game took approximately 30-minutes. During gameplay, players embodied unique STEM roles: physicist, chemist, structural engineer, and electrical engineer. They collaborated to solve challenges related to electricity, physics, chemistry, and engineering design. Discourse was audio-recorded throughout gameplay. Immediately after gameplay, self-report survey data were collected to assess flow and perceptions of collaborative learning. Results Findings demonstrated that the game promoted engagement and collaboration. Specifically, students had a flow-like experience and felt positively about the game's value for collaborative learning. Utterances demonstrating active engagement and constructive thinking became more group-focused over time. Conclusion This study contributes to science education by demonstrating potential benefits of a well-designed, low-tech, science learning environment or—in other words—a tabletop game.
... This has a positive effect on collaboration between students and quickly changes the organization of the classroom (Henshaw et al., 2011). On the other hand, a polycentric organization of the classroom does not draw students' attention to the front part of the room occupied by an authority figure, but improves group cohesion and enables active learning (Soneral and Wyse, 2017). It is essential to take into account the composition of online and face-to-face learning when implementing BL since it is not only based on the simple integration of face-to-face teaching with digital media, but it involves responding to diverse learning needs according to the training requirements. ...
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After more than 2 years of the pandemic caused by COVID-19, a gradual return to face-to-face teaching has been taking place. Therefore, administrators need to establish procedures to facilitate and ensure the quality of teaching during this process. The purpose of this article is to describe the strengths and challenges of implementing Blended Learning (BL). The design used is consistent with a secondary investigation of a narrative review. As a result, several recommendations are presented for building institutional frameworks that enable the implementation of high-quality BL models in the context of a gradual return to face-to-face courses in higher education. From a theoretical and contextual perspective, considerations for transitioning to this model are discussed, based on lessons learned from emergency remote education. We conclude that the present post-pandemic scenario constitutes a pivotal moment for determining the way education is delivered in higher education.
... Furthermore, instructors of teacher research courses may be interested in implementing the module at the beginning of their courses to introduce their students to concepts of action research methodologies while improving upon students' related affective dispositions. In consideration of the resources of individual schools and school districts, such as the availability of support and time, the module is openly-available (see Supplementary Appendices S1.1-1.3) and low-cost and, therefore, can likely be effectively implemented across a diversity of learning environments (Soneral and Wyse, 2017). ...
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Professional development in action research methods can increase educators' dispositions toward the adoption of evidence-based practices and data-based decision making. However, an in-depth review of the literature revealed that extant forms of action research professional development (ARPD) may not be accessible to all educators as they are often relegated to full-semester undergraduate and/or graduate courses, internships, and teacher education programs. To address this issue, we designed, implemented, and assessed a scalable active-learning module on action research to strengthen the cognitive and affective outcomes of prospective and in-service STEM teachers (N 26) enrolled in a cross-listed Scientific Teaching course, all of whom had not previously conducted action research. This three-session module integrated case studies, collaborative practice, group discussions, and instruction on action research theory and data collection methodologies. Analysis of pre-/post-intervention survey responses revealed that participants expressed greater self-efficacy related to their ability to design and conduct action research, strengthened knowledge of the process of action research, and greater awareness of the utility of data to inform research and teaching. When asked about the benefits of engaging in action research, participants suggested it could enhance their pedagogical content knowledge and reflectivity. However, participants identified logistical issues such as time constraints and resource availability, lack of institutional support, and possible student resistance to data collection as potential barriers to future action research practice. Overall, our module provides a scaffold to enculturate in-service educators to inquiry dispositions while offering a scalable approach to help prospective teachers in their transition to in-service practice.
... over the levels reported for traditional lecture, between 0.1 and 0.2 (Knudson, 2019(Knudson, , 2020Knudson & Wallace, 2021;. This observation is consistent with extensive research in physics and numerous (biology, chemistry, computer science, education, engineering, geology, math, and psychology) other disciplines (Beichner et al., 2007;Freeman et al., 2014;Hake, 1998;Prince, 2004;Soneral & Wyse, 2017;Springer et al., 1999). ...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic shifted kinesiology courses into more hybrid and online delivery, creating new challenges and opportunities for evaluating learning and online testing. Research using the Biomechanics Concept Inventory indicates that both high-tech and low-tech active learning experiences implemented in hybrid and online formats in biomechanics courses improve student learning above levels for lecture alone. However, online pre- and posttesting using concept inventories or major exams are vulnerable to cheating. Experience and research on proctoring online testing indicate only partial success in detecting cheating absent substantial faculty commitment to investigate suspicious behavior. These difficulties with online testing provide an opportunity for kinesiology faculty to implement more authentic, holistic assessments that are less vulnerable to violations of academic integrity. The importance of well-designed, rigorous assessment methods that uphold academic integrity standards will continue to evolve as kinesiology departments expand online learning.
... Mock-ups have been used across a diverse array of disciplines (e.g., medicine, urban development, and education) to simulate facility and program functions and to provide an immersive experience for participants (Dupont et al., 2015;Soneral & Wyse, 2017;Youngblood et al., 2008). This approach has been used to quell community opposition to implementation of controversial facilities (Baker et al., 2019). ...
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Controversial facilities (e.g., supervised injection services (SIS), methadone clinics, and social housing) may require feasibility studies that asses their acceptability among community stakeholders before their implementation. However, controversies about these facilities may make stakeholders ambivalent or hesitant to express opinions about them because various sources of information disagree about their harms and benefits. We responded to this challenge by creating and piloting the use of "grounding aids" or tools, objects, and methods used before qualitative data collection to provide research participants with an experience in which they can learn about how the controversial facility operates in practice. Before interviews and focus groups in a recent SIS feasibility study we conducted, participants were introduced to three of these grounding aids: a physical mock-up of an SIS, a presentation regarding evidence on SIS, and a Q&A with SIS staff. We then asked additional questions in the interviews and focus groups about participants' experience with these grounding aids. With few exceptions, participants generally perceived the grounding aids to help them express their opinions without feeling that we were directing their opinions about SIS. Participants' reasons for this included that the grounding aids helped them experience unfamiliar aspects of SIS visually and concretely, served as a cue for questions and as a reference for discussions, and personalized SIS and its operations. We also observed that they voiced less hesitancy overall regarding SIS than participants in our previous feasibility studies where we did not employ these grounding aids before data collection. Researchers planning to study perceptions of controversial facilities or other phenomena about which sources of information tend to disagree on may want to consider creating, evaluating, and using grounding aids to improve participant responsiveness.
... Furniture design and layout (and additional features such as whiteboards and/or smart boards) can and do provide students with interactive tools to help them discuss and illustrate ideas with their peers (35,36). However, as noted by Hacisalihoglu et al. (36), other recent studies indicate that it is the active learning itself, whether in a high-or lower-tech classroom, that matters (37,38). Yet, faculty must remember that students with social anxiety (39) or disabilities (40) may be averse to certain forms of active learning. ...
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The pervasive effects of the current coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic are but one reason for educators to refocus their efforts on virology teaching. Additionally, it is critical to understand how viruses function and to elucidate the relationship between virus and host. An understanding of current virology education may improve pedagogical approaches for educating our students and trainees. Faculty who teach undergraduate microbiology indicate that approximately 10% of the course content features viruses; stand-alone virology courses are infrequently offered to undergraduates. Fortunately, virology taught to undergraduates includes foundational material; several approaches for delivery of lecture- and lab-based content exist. At the graduate education level, there is growing appreciation that an emphasis on logic, reasoning, inference, and statistics must be reintroduced into the curriculum to create a generation of scientists who have a greater capacity for creativity and innovation. Educators also need to remove barriers to student success, at all levels of education. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Virology, Volume 8 is September 2021. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
... These alternative conceptions can have a negative impact on learning and may persist with students even after instruction (Nakhleh, 1992;Poehnl & Bogner, 2013). Students hold onto their alternative conceptions and to cause a conceptual change, adequate instruction and active learning are needed (Soneral & Wyse, 2017). Traditional lecture format does not address conceptual change or promote conceptual understanding of chemistry. ...
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General Chemistry is a course where students are expected to nurture the development of their fundamental concepts in chemistry. Students begin general chemistry with alternative conceptions about the topics and fragmented knowledge structures. Majority of students who successfully complete the general chemistry course sequence continue to hold onto their alternative conceptions about the topics. The goal of this study is to examine alternative conceptions and their persistence, learning gains, and conceptual change as the result of instruction and completion of a traditional general chemistry course. The Chemistry Concepts Inventory survey was administered as a laboratory activity at the beginning and at the completion of General Chemistry course. The data was collected from 358 participants at a public, urban, and minority serving college and the data was entered into a spreadsheet and analyzed. Our data suggests that normalized learning gains were not substantial after the completion of a general chemistry course taught in the traditional lecture format which may emphasize algorithmic problem-solving and does not address conceptual understanding of the topics. Traditional lecture format in general chemistry falls short of addressing alternative conceptions, causing a conceptual change, and improving conceptual understanding in students. Based on the research, we recommend that General Chemistry teaching and learning strategies need to address alternative conceptions and improve students’ conceptual understanding of chemistry key concepts by immersing students in courses where teaching and learning methods are based on research in science education.
... For the purposes of this paper, 'active learning' (AL) is defined as an active, collaborative, cooperative, and problem-based teaching method that gets students involved in their own learning by participating in relevant activities and thinking about the outcomes of those activities (Campana & Agarwal, 2019). AL pedagogy increases mastery of course concepts beyond traditional instruction in numerous disciplines (Beichner et al., 2007;Freeman et al., 2014;Hake, 1998;Prince, 2004;Springer et al., 1999), even when electronic technologies (Knudson & Wallace, 2019;Soneral & Wyse, 2017) are not commonly employed. Low-tech AL exercises incorporated into traditional format biomechanics courses increases student learning of concepts, as assessed by the nationally normed Biomechanics Concept Inventory (BCI) assessment (Knudson et al., 2003) vs. lecture alone (Knudson, 2019b;Knudson & Wallace, 2019). ...
Article
Low-tech active learning (AL) exercises in face-to-face (F2F) undergraduate biomechanics courses improve student learning vs. lecture alone. This study compared learning of biomechanics concepts with AL implemented in two course formats (hybrid: HB vs. F2F). Additional aims were to investigate if student perceptions of learning epistemology and learning factors were related to course format. Students (n = 110) in four introductory biomechanics courses (two F2F, two HB) completed the 24-question Biomechanics Concept Inventory (BCI) at the beginning and the end of the course to determine their learning of biomechanical concepts. An additional eight questions were given with the post-test to determine student perceptions of the AL exercises and their epistemology of learning. Learning in the HB format was equivalent to the F2F course format when both implement AL in these students. Student perceptions of AL were generally positive and learning scores consistent with previous research on AL in biomechanics. There were mixed results of the effect of course format with one significant difference of three ratings of the nature of learning biomechanics and one significant difference of four ratings of AL by students. These results should be replicated and potential interactions with student perceptions and characteristics explored.
... These tactics and their wider benefits are reflected in Knaub et al.'s (2016) discussion of variations in space design in SCALE-UP in US classrooms, which they term 'productive customisation ' (2016: 20). Similarly, Soneral and Wyse (2017) compare the impact on student grades and satisfaction of a classic room with a 'mock up' or low-tech version, finding little difference. ...
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This book is primarily written for those involved in teaching or supporting learning in Higher Education (HE). It is also written for those who influence what goes on in higher education, and we are hopeful that the book will encourage and promote an awareness of the distinctiveness and value of Active Learning approaches. Furthermore, we hope that others with an interest in active, collaborative learning will find something of value in these chapters.
... Active learning pedagogy significantly increases mastery of course concepts beyond traditional lecture instruction in numerous disciplines including mechanics and physics (Beichner et al., 2007;Freeman et al., 2014;Hake, 1998;Prince, 2004;Soneral & Wyse, 2017;Springer et al., 1999). The effectiveness and utility of several active learning techniques have been reviewed (McConnell et al., 2017). ...
Article
This study documents student engagement in face-to-face low-tech active learning and student perceptions of emergency remote instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic in introductory biomechanics. Students in two classes received 8 weeks of face-to-face instruction with five low-tech active learning techniques and then received 6 weeks of emergency remote, online instruction. Learning was measured using pretest and posttest administrations of the biomechanics concept inventory (BCI). A survey of engagement in active learning with additional questions on active learning and online instruction were collected with the posttest. No student perceptions of engagement in active learning or online instruction were correlated with learning measured by normalized gain. Student’s perception of the ‘value of group activity’ factor from survey was significantly correlated (r2 = 12%) with the number of students typically in active learning groups. There was a significant correlation (r2 = 46%) between student perception of reading the textbook before online video lessons and perception of value of the video lessons in the online portion of the course. Most students (59%) preferred face-to-face instruction in biomechanics. While up to 28% of students may have reported resistance to group-based active learning, low-tech active learning significantly improved mastery of biomechanics concepts above levels previously reported for lecture alone.
... Today, every higher education institutions and corporate training organizations are adopting TEL method to provide better learning and improve performances [11]. There are number of researchers who have shown the influence of technology-enhanced learning (TEL) on the students' academic improvement and teaching process, most studies point out positive outcomes i.e., technology-enhanced learning (TEL) can encourage the effective engagement and interaction of students towards learning [12][13][14][15]; this also improves the understanding of different concepts of students [16] and extends the memorization of knowledge [17]; and engages the teachers and students in a positive learning experience [18][19][20]. However, few studies [21] shows that technology-enhanced learning (TEL) may not have evident influence on students' academic improvement and sometimes lead the learner in confusion [17], whereas some other studies [22] shows that the positive impacts of technology-enhanced learning (TEL) on students' learning gradually reduces over time. ...
Article
Technology-enhanced learning method has been adopted worldwide in order to develop globalised competitiveness among graduates. It becomes very important to examine the other side i.e., student's satisfaction on technology-enhanced learning, especially in a state like Chhattisgarh where limited number of students are engaged in online educational resources. This research investigates various factors affecting the student's satisfaction on technology-enhanced learning in higher education in Chhattisgarh, India. The primary data were collected based on the usage of technology-enhanced learning resources from 600 students studying in different government and private universities and colleges. Authors used purposive sampling technique with inclusion criteria of having used any online learning resources for at least one year. Step wise multiple regression analysis using SPSS was incorporated to test the conceptual framework of the research. To test the reliability and validity of the instrument used in the study, Smart PLS software was applied. The results indicated that informational quality, compatibility, subjective norms, subject interest and institutional branding of technology-enhanced learning is found to have positive and significant influence on student's satisfaction on technology-enhanced learning whereas resource availability and self-efficacy variables did not provide significant effect on satisfaction of students for online learning.
... This also improves the understating of different concepts of students [6] and extends the memorization of knowledge [7] and engages the teachers and students in a positive learning experience [8], [9], [10]. However, few studies [11] shows that technology-enhanced learning (TEL) may not have evident influence on students' academic improvement and sometimes lead the learner in confusion [12], whereas some other studies shows that the positive impacts of technology-enhanced learning (TEL) on students' learning gradually reduces over time [13]. ...
Article
Increasingly Higher Education Institutes (HEIs), worldwide are adopting ICT in various forms to improve learning and teaching experiences of their students and teachers. As compared to traditional classroom settings, technology enhanced learning (TEL) can overcome the limitations of traditional learning and expand the educational territories without barriers of time, distance, and space. TEL covers all those circumstances where technology plays a significant role in making learning more effective. The present study aims to find the effect of various factors affecting technology enhanced learning (TEL) among students of higher educational institutions in the state of Chhattisgarh. With the help of 600 students enrolled in higher educational institutions, data pertaining to usages of technology enhanced learning (TEL) was collected. Purposive sampling technique was used for data collection with inclusion criteria of having used online medium of learning for at least one year were considered for the study. Step wise hierarchical multiple regression using SPSS was used to test the conceptual framework of the proposed study. In order to establish the reliability and validity of the instrument used in the study Smart PLS software was used. The result concluded that resource availability, subjective norms, institutional branding, compatibility and subject interest significantly and positively affected perceived relative advantage of technology enhanced learning (TEL) whereas quality of information delivered to the students and students self-efficacy did not create advantage for online learning among students in the state.
... Given this challenge, what alternatives exist? Soneral and Wyse (2017) address this question in their recent work, which examined the differential impact of SCALE-UP versus Mock-up classrooms on students' development of conceptual understanding in biology courses at their institution, as measured via the IMCA concept inventory (Shi et al. 2010). The Mock-up learning environment was designed as a low-tech adaptation of the SCALE-UP classroom and consisted of several team pods, each equipped with its own whiteboard and software necessary to share work from an individual computer. ...
Chapter
Evidence within the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines demonstrates that engagement in the learning process is pivotal for students’ development of conceptual understanding in their respective field of study. Achieving such engagement depends largely on the extent to which faculty incorporate active-learning strategies (ALSs) into their curricula in a purposeful manner. Specifically, ALSs should be aligned to explicit student learning objectives and forms of assessment in order to assist students in acquiring deep understanding of the content. In this chapter, we first define active learning and provide several examples of common ALSs. Subsequently, we discuss the relationship between active learning and students’ development of conceptual understanding in the biological sciences, with particular attention given to factors that have the potential to mediate that relationship. We conclude by offering recommendations for how faculty might assess conceptual understanding in their own classrooms as well as the efficacy of ALSs more broadly.
... Similarly Whiteside et al's [21] also emphasized that room layout does have an impact on students motivation and behavior in the classroom. Although recent research suggests that there are complicated links between room layout, pedagogy and technology and student outcomes [22,23]. Recent research suggest that it does seem that room layout encourages particular pedagogical attitudes and that the greater part of the gains obtained come from the pedagogy rather than from the room layout. ...
Conference Paper
Active Learning Classroom (ALC) has been introduced in many universities designed to promote active, student-centered learning to facilitate new teaching and learning situations. However, it is well known that technology per se do not create new teaching practices. The aim of this paper is to explore the role of technology in instructional design created for an active learning classroom. We explore a case of instructional design in an ALC, within the context of a university in Sweden and students at a bachelor's degree program in informatics. An action oriented research approach was applied. Data includes; engaged classroom observations; a student survey; and teachers' interviews. The results show that technology came to play an important role in the instructional design in terms of affecting the engagement and pace in the teaching situation. Contributions includes unpacking how the functionality of technology can affect the teaching situation in a technology intense ALC environment as well as instructional design suggestions created for a ALC and that is considered fruitful by students and teachers.
... These studies demonstrate that low-tech learning environments can be as effective, or sometimes more effective, as high-tech learning environments in supporting learning (Soneral and Wyse, 2017;Knudson and Wallace, 2019). Furthermore, based on Nicol et al. (2018) and Mendini and Peter's (2018) findings, it appears that low-tech environments can provide better environments for social interactions and group work. ...
Article
Purpose This paper aims to review the landscape of research in pedagogy and learning that surmounts the challenges of low-tech, information-rich environments during the past decade. It also reviews the methods used, populations studied and places where such research was carried out and proposes a conceptual framework. Design/methodology/approach A scoping review methodology was used to provide initial, broad insight into the field of learning in low tech environments. Findings The study found that low tech was not a barrier when it came to effectiveness of pedagogy and learning. In addition, it became apparent that active learning strategies combined with no-tech, low-tech and high-tech resources and strategies can lead to learning environments that are learner-centered, knowledge-centered, assessment-centered and community-centered. Originality/value The authors propose the framework for learning in low-tech, information-rich environments, which can be used by researchers, educators, practitioners and policymakers in environments with low technology, or in those with high technology seeking to transfer expertise and technology to these areas.
... This improvement was large (d = 0.84) and slightly higher than 168 the 0.6 reported by Knudson and Wallace (2019) for similar low-tech AL exercises. There is a clear 169 consensus that AL instructional techniques help students master significantly higher percentages of 170 course concepts in numerous fields ( Beichner et al., 2007;Freeman et al. 2014;Hake, 1998;Prince, 171 2004;Springer et al., 1999) and growing evidence that low-tech AL may be as effective as with electronic 172 technology supports (Soneral & Wyse, 2017). 173 A majority (92%) of these students from athletic training and sport/exercise science majors 174 initially had positive responses to question 1. ...
Article
20 Some students have negative perceptions of group work common in several active learning (AL) 21 pedagogies. This study documented the potential change in student beliefs (epistemology) of learning 22 biomechanical concepts over an introductory biomechanics course implementing low-tech AL exercises. 23 Fifty-eight students in two biomechanics courses agreed to participate and completed a pre-and post-24 test consisting of the Biomechanics Concept Inventory (BCI3) version 3 and additional questions on their 25 perceptions about group work and the nature of learning in biomechanics. Low-tech AL exercises 26 resulted in a large (d > 0.8) mean improvement in student learning compared previous data on lecture 27 alone. This improvement in learning of biomechanical concepts with AL may be unrelated to student 28 perceptions of working with other students, the nature of biomechanical knowledge or learning. There 29 was inconsistent evidence that student perceptions can be changed over a biomechanics course 30 implementing low-tech AL exercises, with significant reductions in positive attitudes on one question 31 and no difference on another from pre-to post-test. While the majority of students had positive 32 perceptions about working with other students, some had negative perceptions, and how these 33 perceptions changed over the term was not systematic with addition of low-tech AL exercises. 34 35
... McArthur (2015) found that the interaction between instructors and the physical space of the learning environment impacts students' behavioral, cognitive, and affective learning outcomes, providing additional evidence that instructors should adapt teaching approaches based on classroom affordances and limitations. In another quasiexperimental project at Bethel University (USA) that compared a low-and high-tech version of an ALC, researchers found no significant differences between the two types of spaces and that student collaboration and collaborative writing surfaces were more important than digital technologies (Soneral & Wyse, 2017). ...
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Chapter
This chapter reviews the field broadly referred to as Intelligent Learning Environments (ILE), capturing the state-of-the-art in both Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) and Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED). After a brief historical account, we report design architectures and implementation approaches exemplified by a recent example. We then shift our attention to classroom implementation and blended learning strategies that take into account the challenges of using ILE in the classroom. We present Learning Analytics tools as a way to support teachers addressing these challenges, to increase their awareness and ultimately to support students directly. We conclude with a summary of efficacy studies and open issues while advocating that these systems should not be seen as displacing teachers but augmenting the human aspects of teaching.
... The PALIR classroom was proposed to be low-tech (no built-in computers) to take advantage of students using their own devices (smartphones, tablets, or laptops). Some research on active-learning initiatives report that high-tech approaches may not Knudson be more effective than low-tech active-learning approaches (Soneral & Wyse, 2017). ...
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Article
This article describes the implementation and evaluation of an initiative to promote active learning through facility renovation and faculty training. Twenty faculty representing a variety of academic areas from 2 departments participated in a 3-part activelearning professional development workshop series. Department of Health and Human Performance faculty (N = 14) teaching 19 courses and 416 of the students in the new active classroom were surveyed on their attitudes on the facilities, room design, professional development, and active-learning instruction. Consistent with previous active-learning research, there were subtle differences between student and faculty perceptions of the importance of renovation features, active-learning exercises, and philosophy of the learning process. The initiative was effective in helping predisposed faculty to implement active-learning experiences in their classes and engaging in more scholarship of teaching and learning, as well as enhancing the visibility of the department as a leader in active learning and the scholarship of teaching and learning at the university.
... One quasi-experimental study examined an introductory biology course with sections conducted in a high-tech and a low-tech ALC. Controlling for student demographics, instructor, and pedagogy, student academic performance on a number of measures was not statistically different between the two sections (Soneral and Wyse, 2017). Student attitudes about the experience were comparable between the two sections, and students in the high-tech classroom did not note that the technology enhanced their experience. ...
Article
As the use of collaborative-learning methods such as group work in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics classes has grown, so has the research into factors impacting effectiveness, the kinds of learning engendered, and demographic differences in student response. Generalizing across the range of this research is complicated by the diversity of group-learning approaches used. In this overview, I discuss theories of how group-work formats support or hinder learning based on the ICAP (interactive, constructive, active, passive) framework of student engagement. I then use this model to analyze current issues in group learning, such as the nature of student discourse during group work, the role of group learning in making our classrooms inclusive, and how classroom spaces factor into group learning. I identify key gaps for further research and propose implications from this research for teaching practice. This analysis helps identify essential, effective, and efficient features of group learning, thus providing faculty with constructive guidelines to support their work and affirm their efforts.
... A recent Iowa State University study by Rands and Gansemer-Topf (2017) [7] showed that classroom design helped students form learning communities with an optimal level of challenge and enhanced student engagement. In addition, Stolzfus and Libarkin (2016) [8] and Soneral and Wyse (2017) [9] have both reported that the key to success was the active learning itself, and therefore could be achieved in low-tech classrooms as well. ...
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Article
Active learning is a pedagogical approach that involves students engaging in collaborative learning, which enables them to take more responsibility for their learning and improve their critical thinking skills. While prior research examined student performance at majority universities, this study focuses on specifically Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for the first time. Here we present work that focuses on the impact of active learning interventions at Florida A&M University, where we measured the impact of active learning strategies coupled with a SCALE-UP (Student Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies) learning environment on student success in General Biology. In biology sections where active learning techniques were employed, students watched online videos and completed specific activities before class covering information previously presented in a traditional lecture format. In-class activities were then carefully planned to reinforce critical concepts and enhance critical thinking skills through active learning techniques such as the one-minute paper, think-pair-share, and the utilization of clickers. Students in the active learning and control groups covered the same topics, took the same summative examinations and completed identical homework sets. In addition, the same instructor taught all of the sections included in this study. Testing demonstrated that these interventions increased learning gains by as much as 16%, and students reported an increase in their positive perceptions of active learning and biology. Overall, our results suggest that active learning approaches coupled with the SCALE-UP environment may provide an added opportunity for student success when compared with the standard modes of instruction in General Biology.
Article
The COVID-19 global pandemic has forced the higher education sector to transition to an uncharted remote-learning format. This offers an opportunity to adopt active learning, which increases students' performance compared to lectures, narrows achievement gaps for underrepresented students, and promotes equity and inclusivity, as the basis of STEM education.
Article
Active learning classrooms (ALCs) have been demonstrated to have significant and positive impacts on student learning experiences, student learning outcomes, and instructor and student behavior compared to traditional classrooms. The social context of a classroom – levels of student–student and student–instructor interaction – has been demonstrated to partially explain the effects ALCs have on students and instructors. This research is the first attempt to extend social context research beyond the US higher education classroom by comparing levels of social context of Chinese and US students taking courses in ALCs. We find that formal student–instructor relations in the US and China are not the same, that general student–student relations, informal student–instructor relations, and students as instructors are quite similar for Chinese and US students, but that these relationships express themselves at different levels. We believe that some of the variation observed can be attributed to cultural differences but are hopeful that the similarities observed lend themselves to expanding learning space research on social context to other countries and advancing cross-cultural research on learning spaces.
Article
The applications of technology-enhanced learning spaces have become a topical subject of research, with many studies conducted on the impact of technology-enhanced learning spaces on students’ learning; however, only a small number of these focus on how the spaces affect students’ learning. This article will elaborate on how technology-enhanced learning spaces facilitate the learning of students and explain in detail the impact of such spaces on them. Interviews were conducted with 48 postgraduate students who had experienced learning in technology-enhanced learning spaces. The interview data were analysed using the grounded theory approach and a theoretical model was proposed for the process of student learning in technology-enhanced learning spaces. The results demonstrate that three factors: academic motivation, extension of time and space, and externalization and expression, can facilitate student engagement in learning in technology-enhanced learning spaces. In addition, student characteristics is an influential factor in student engagement, while pedagogies also determine the effectiveness of these spaces.
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Contribution: Practical active learning stations (PALSs)-equipped classrooms function similar to prototypical active learning classrooms (ALCs). They support student collaboration and active learning pedagogies but at a fraction of the cost. Background: Active learning pedagogies and active learning technology are revitalizing STEM education and their use has led to an increase in student performance and satisfaction with the learning environment in postsecondary settings. An obstacle to increasing access to ALCs is the cost of constructing such learning environments. To address this challenge, a means to retrofit an existing computer laboratory into an ALC by making use of economy hardware and open-source software was devised. Intended Outcomes: In the context of an introductory sequence of programming courses (i.e., CS1 and CS2), students in a PALS-equipped classroom would perform as well as students in a prototypical ALC. Application Design: A quasi-experimental study was employed to compare the overall student performance across learning environments. Student performance was measured by the final exam score and overall course score. Throughout the study, the PALS-equipped classroom was paired five different times in head-to-head comparisons with either a prototypical ALC or a traditional classroom. Findings: The focus of the study was the potential effects of classroom type on students' final exam score and the overall course score. A statistically significant effect was found for only one measure, which was that students in the PALS classroom in CS1 scored higher on their overall course score even when accounting for demographic differences and the pretest measure. There were no other significant effects for classroom type, either on the final exam score for either course or the overall course score in CS2.
Article
This article describes the development and assessment of a Nutritional Genomics course, designed to be held in a regular classroom during normal class periods, with few extra costs to the students or the department. The course was run as an upper-level undergraduate and lower-level graduate student course. Student taking the course spent 11 weeks learning and then 4 weeks using various in silico methods to independently characterize genes of interest in the field. During the last 4 weeks of the course, students combined their methods to test a hypothesis they generated about a gene they have not yet studied and completed a final report in the form of a journal article. Two students have published or are in the process of publishing work from their final project. Validated surveys of genetic knowledge given at least 6 months following the course indicated a very high level of genetic knowledge retainment, and favorable attitudes toward genetics testing and medical use of genetics. Finally, self-perceived critical thinking skills were high, and students indicated that they perceived these skills to be gained by their participation in the course. Materials and syllabus provided in the manuscript makes this CURE easily transferrable to other disciplines.
Chapter
Active learning is a powerful pedagogical tool in science classes. The physical classroom space is, however, often overlooked as a key component of pedagogical design. We present two mini-case studies of science faculty at the Pennsylvania State University who are using active learning techniques in the Bluebox, an experimental learning space designed for maximum flexibility and active learning pedagogy. These vignettes are exemplars of how a thoughtfully designed learning space can support and even enhance active learning in science classes. We conclude by making three design recommendations to consider when creating new classrooms or enhancing existing ones.
Chapter
Active learning classrooms (ALCs) are student-centered, technology-rich learning environments that typically feature round or curved tables with moveable seating that facilitate the use of active learning pedagogies. The growing, global popularity of the ALCs is propelled by a growing body of empirical research that demonstrates the impact of ALCs on teaching practices and student learning outcomes. This review of the literature on ALCs collects together the most important and contemporary pieces of research on these innovative classrooms from around the world and provides evidence on the impact of ALCs on student learning outcomes, layout and furniture evaluations of classroom spaces, student and instructor experiences, and informal, nonclassroom learning spaces.
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Article
It is now generally accepted that many students enter college severely underprepared for their mathematics college courses in terms of basic skills and study habits, and that intervention is expected to overcome these deficiencies. As a result, many mathematics departments nationwide have over the last two decades redesigned their algebra and calculus courses to incorporate technology and active learning in various combinations, some of which have utilized extensive learning space designs. This article is a preliminary report of one Historically Black College or University’s (HBCU) experience with its redesign of the first semester of Calculus for STEM Majors that resulted in a course-wide partial implementation of the Student-Centered Active Learning Environments with Upside-down Pedagogies (SCALE-UP) method. Preliminary results show that the redesign, enabled by institutional and external resource coordination, has led to moderate improvements in course pass rates, from a normal of 40% and below to a new normal of above 50%. The pass/fail student profile suggests that weakness in pre-requisite skills is a major cause of failure.
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Article
Background The characteristics of the classroom environment play an important role in shaping teaching practices and supporting research-based instructional strategies. One instructional strategy that has reimagined the classroom is the Student-Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside-Down Pedagogies (SCALE-UP). SCALE-UP uses studio-style instruction to facilitate student collaboration. Although there is significant interest in studio-style instruction, there is not much research-based guidance available for institutions interested in setting up a classroom, especially for secondary users interested in using this in different academic settings and contexts. We interviewed key informants involved in 21 successful secondary implementations of SCALE-UP about creating, using, and spreading studio-style classrooms. This paper summarizes respondent’s perceptions of (1) how these classrooms are initiated; (2) which classroom features are helpful, non-essential, and unhelpful; (3) how professional development efforts support SCALE-UP instructors; and (4) how the classroom indirectly affects the department and/or institution. ResultsRoom initiation Interviewees engaged in multiple activities to obtain a studio-style classroom. The majority of interviewees worked in teams created by faculty or administrators, with the participation from both groups. Interviewees typically sought institutional funding to develop the rooms.Classroom features When developing the room, implementers used many key characteristics of the recommended classroom, such as collaborative workspace (e.g., special tables) for students, but they generally did not replicate all of the recommended features. Interviewees had mixed opinions about the importance of classroom technology.Professional development and support Interviewees noted the importance of professional development for teaching staff (instructors and teaching assistants) new to the SCALE-UP teaching environment.Indirect effects Beyond direct benefits to the teachers and learners, our interviewees reported that the classrooms had larger impacts including attracting visitors to the institution and encouraging the use of active learning in non-SCALE-UP classes. Conclusions There are many paths to successful development of a studio-style classroom. The process can be initiated by faculty or administrators. Classroom designs can vary to suit the local environment as long as they maintain the intent of the space: to support peer collaboration. Beyond improving student outcomes, these classrooms have additional benefits for institutions that include transforming instructor approaches to teaching and symbolizing the institution’s commitment to quality teaching.
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Article
In Turkey, funding for higher education institutions has increased drastically in the last ten years. This has caused a profound increase in the number of new universities and undergraduates. As a result, there has been a focus on the design and construction of new buildings on the campuses, but not in the design of the classrooms. This oversight has resulted in omission of contemporary active learning environments such as Student-Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies (SCALE-UP). SCALE-UP classrooms are highly interactive learning environments equipped with technologies for large enrollment introductory undergraduate courses. They were initially designed to cultivate student learning through collaborative problem solving in the sciences. In a SCALE-UP classroom, the instructor circulates around the room and asks students questions, encourages students to share their work, and supports student learning in groups. This pedagogical approach encourages students to question and collaborate with their peers, while learning content. In this paper, the SCALE-UP approach was explored with an experiential qualitative method through observations, interviews, and various documents. The observations occurred in different SCALE-UP classrooms over the course of a semester. Interviews were also completed with the creator of the SCALE-UP classroom, who also coordinates a network all around the world. In addition, the first author's journal regarding SCALE-UP classrooms was a source of information. Although the SCALE-UP system is catching on globally, it is a new concept for Turkish universities. The increase in student learning and the desire to learn in this novel setting reinforce the importance of this classroom design. With these results, we suggest to the authorities and instructors of the Turkish universities that SCALE-UP classrooms should be implemented throughout Turkey.
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Article
Several institutions have redesigned traditional learning spaces to better realize the potential of active, experiential learning. We compare student performance in traditional and active learning classrooms in a large, introductory biology course using the same syllabus, course goals, exams, and instructor. Using ACT scores as predictive, we found that students in the active learning classroom outperformed expectations, whereas those in the traditional classroom did not. By replicating initial work, our results provide empirical confirmation that new, technology-enhanced learning environments positively and independently affect student learning. Our data suggest that creating space for active learning can improve student performance in science courses. However, we recognize that such a commitment of resources is impractical for many institutions, and we offer recommendations for applying what we have learned to more traditional spaces.
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Students attending classes in the University of Minnesota's new, technology-enhanced learning spaces exceeded final grade expectations relative to their ACT scores, suggesting strongly that features of the spaces contributed to their learning. First-year and sophomore students as well as students from metropolitan areas rated the new learning spaces significantly higher than their upper-division and rural counterparts in terms of engagement, enrichment, effectiveness, flexibility, fit, and instructor use. Different learning environments affect teaching-learning activities even when instructors attempt to hold these activities constant. Although assignment types greatly affect the study environments students select, in choosing informal study spaces students fall into routines early and are reluctant to deviate from them even if they are not meeting their study goals.
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Significance The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology has called for a 33% increase in the number of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) bachelor’s degrees completed per year and recommended adoption of empirically validated teaching practices as critical to achieving that goal. The studies analyzed here document that active learning leads to increases in examination performance that would raise average grades by a half a letter, and that failure rates under traditional lecturing increase by 55% over the rates observed under active learning. The analysis supports theory claiming that calls to increase the number of students receiving STEM degrees could be answered, at least in part, by abandoning traditional lecturing in favor of active learning.
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Previous research has shown that undergraduate science students learn from peer discussions of in-class clicker questions. However, the features that characterize such discussions are largely unknown, as are the instructional factors that may lead students into productive discussions. To explore these questions, we recorded and transcribed 83 discussions among groups of students discussing 34 different clicker questions in an upper-level developmental biology class. Discussion transcripts were analyzed for features such as making claims, questioning, and explaining reasoning. In addition, transcripts were categorized by the quality of reasoning students used and for performance features, such as percent correct on initial vote, percent correct on revote, and normalized learning change. We found that the majority of student discussions included exchanges of reasoning that used evidence and that many such exchanges resulted in students achieving the correct answer. Students also had discussions in which ideas were exchanged, but the correct answer not achieved. Importantly, instructor prompts that asked students to use reasoning resulted in significantly more discussions containing reasoning connected to evidence than without such prompts. Overall, these results suggest that these upper-level biology students readily employ reasoning in their discussions and are positively influenced by instructor cues.
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With advocates like Sal Khan and Bill Gates, flipped classrooms are attracting an increasing amount of media and research attention. We had heard Khan's TED talk and were aware of the concept of inverted pedagogies in general. Yet, it really hit home when we accidentally flipped our classroom. Our objective was to better prepare our students for class. We set out to effectively move some of our course content outside of class and decided to tweak the Just-in-Time-Teaching approach (JiTT). To our surprise, this tweak - which we like to call the flip-JiTT - ended up completely flipping our classroom. What follows is narrative of our experience and a procedure that any teacher can use to extend JiTT to a flipped classroom.
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In this quantitative study, we compare the efficacy of Level 2, guided inquiry–based instruction to more traditional, verification laboratory instruction in supporting student performance on a standardized measure of knowledge of content, procedure, and nature of science. Our sample included 1,700 students placed in the classrooms of 12 middle school and 12 high school science teachers. The instruction for both groups included a week long, laboratory-based, forensics unit. Students were given pre-, post-, and delayed posttests, the results of which were analyzed through a Hierarchical Linear Model (HLM) using students' scores, teacher, level of school, Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) scores, and school socioeconomic status. Overall, compared to students in traditional sections, students who participated in an inquiry-based laboratory unit showed significantly higher posttest scores; had the higher scores, more growth, and long-term retention at both the high school and middle school levels, if their teacher had stronger implementation of inquiry methods (as measured by RTOP scores); and tended to have better outcomes than those who learned through traditional methods, regardless of level of poverty in the school. Our findings suggest that Level 2 inquiry can be an effective teaching approach to support student learning as measured through standardized assessments. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed94:577–616, 2010
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We carried out an experiment to determine whether student learning gains in a large, traditionally taught, upper-division lecture course in developmental biology could be increased by partially changing to a more interactive classroom format. In two successive semesters, we presented the same course syllabus using different teaching styles: in fall 2003, the traditional lecture format; and in spring 2004, decreased lecturing and addition of student participation and cooperative problem solving during class time, including frequent in-class assessment of understanding. We used performance on pretests and posttests, and on homework problems to estimate and compare student learning gains between the two semesters. Our results indicated significantly higher learning gains and better conceptual understanding in the more interactive course. To assess reproducibility of these effects, we repeated the interactive course in spring 2005 with similar results. Our findings parallel results of similar teaching-style comparisons made in other disciplines. On the basis of this evidence, we propose a general model for teaching large biology courses that incorporates interactive engagement and cooperative work in place of some lecturing, while retaining course content by demanding greater student responsibility for learning outside of class.
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A guide to using S environments to perform statistical analyses providing both an introduction to the use of S and a course in modern statistical methods. The emphasis is on presenting practical problems and full analyses of real data sets.
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I. OVERVIEW. 1. Introduction. 2. Peer Instruction. 3. Motivating the Students. 4. A Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing for a Peer Instruction Lecture. 5. Sample Lecture. 6. Epilogue. II. RESOURCES. 7. Mechanics Baseline Test. 8. Force Concept Inventory. 9. Questionnaire Results. 10. Reading Quizzes. 11. Concept Tests. 12. Conceptual Exam Questions. Appendix: Disk Instructions. Index.
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The objective of this research is to identify the relationship between formal learning spaces and student learning outcomes. Using a quasi-experimental design, researchers partnered with an instructor who taught identical sections of the same course in two radically different formal learning environments to isolate the impact of the physical environment on student learning. The results of the study reveal that, holding all factors excepting the learning spaces constant, students taking the course in a technologically enhanced environment conducive to active learning techniques outperformed their peers who were taking the same course in a more traditional classroom setting. The evidence suggests strongly that technologically enhanced learning environments, independent of all other factors, have a significant and positive impact on student learning.
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Problem-based approaches to learning have a long history of advocating experience-based education. Psychological research and theory suggests that by having students learn through the experience of solving problems, they can learn both content and thinking strategies. Problem-based learning (PBL) is an instructional method in which students learn through facilitated problem solving. In PBL, student learning centers on a complex problem that does not have a single correct answer. Students work in collaborative groups to identify what they need to learn in order to solve a problem. They engage in self-directed learning (SDL) and then apply their new knowledge to the problem and reflect on what they learned and the effectiveness of the strategies employed. The teacher acts to facilitate the learning process rather than to provide knowledge. The goals of PBL include helping students develop 1) flexible knowledge, 2) effective problem-solving skills, 3) SDL skills, 4) effective collaboration skills, and 5) intrinsic motivation. This article discusses the nature of learning in PBL and examines the empirical evidence supporting it. There is considerable research on the first 3 goals of PBL but little on the last 2. Moreover, minimal research has been conducted outside medical and gifted education. Understanding how these goals are achieved with less skilled learners is an important part of a research agenda for PBL. The evidence suggests that PBL is an instructional approach that offers the potential to help students develop flexible understanding and lifelong learning skills.
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Although ordinal data are not rare in ecology, ecological studies have, until now, seriously neglected the use of specific ordinal regression models. Here. we present three models - the Proportional Odds the Continuation Ratio and the Stereotype models - that can be successfully applied to ordinal data. Their differences and respective fields of application are discussed. Finally, as an example of application, PO models are used to predict spatial abundance of plant species in a Geographical Information System. It shows that ordinal models give as good a result as binary logistic models for predicting presence-absence, but an additionally able to predict abundance satisfactorily.
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Herbivore damage is generally detrimental to plant fitness, and the evolu- tionary response of plant populations to damage can involve either increased resistance or increased tolerance. While characters that contribute to resistance, such as secondary chem- icals and trichomes, are relatively well understood, characters that contribute to a plant's ability to tolerate damage have received much less attention. Using Helianthus annuus (wild sunflower) and simulated damage of Haplorhynchites aeneus (head-clipping weevil) as a model system, we examined morphological characters and developmental processes that contribute to compensatory ability. We performed a factorial experiment that included three levels of damage (none, the first two, or the first four inflorescences were clipped with scissors) and eight sires each mated to four dams. We found that plants compensated fully for simulated head-clipper damage and that there was no variation among plant families in compensatory ability: seed production and mean seed mass did not vary among treat- ments, and sire X treatment interactions were not significant. Plants used four mechanisms to compensate for damage: (1) Clipped plants produced significantly more inflorescences than unclipped plants. Plants produced these additional inflorescences on higher order branches at the end of the flowering season. (2) Clipped plants filled significantly more seeds in their remaining heads than did unclipped plants. (3) Clipped plants, because they effectively flowered later than unclipped plants, were less susceptible to damage by seed- feeding herbivores other than Haplorhynchites. (4) In later heads, seed size was greater on clipped plants, which allowed mean seed size to be maintained in clipped plants. Although there was genetic variation among the families used in this experiment for most of the characters associated with compensation for damage (seed number, mean seed size, mean flowering date, length of the flowering period, and branching morphology), in analyses of these characters, no sire X treatment interactions were significant indicating that all of the families relied on similar mechanisms to compensate for damage.
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This study examines the evidence for the effectiveness of active learning. It defines the common forms of active learning most relevant for engineering faculty and critically examines the core element of each method. It is found that there is broad but uneven support for the core elements of active, collaborative, cooperative and problem-based learning.
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Problem-based learning (PBL) is an instructional approach that has been used successfully for over 30 years and continues to gain acceptance in multiple disciplines. It is an instructional (and curricular) learner-centered approach that empowers learners to conduct research, integrate theory and practice, and apply knowledge and skills to develop a viable solution to a defined problem. This overview presents a brief history, followed by a discussion of the similarities and differences between PBL and other experiential approaches to teaching, and identifies some of the challenges that lie ahead for PBL.
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A physics professor describes his evolution from lecturing to dynamically engaging students during class and improving how they learn.
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Calls for reforms in the ways we teach science at all levels, and in all disciplines, are wide spread. The effectiveness of the changes being called for, employment of student-centered, active learning pedagogy, is now well supported by evidence. The relevant data have come from a number of different disciplines that include the learning sciences, cognitive psychology, and educational psychology. There is a growing body of research within specific scientific teaching communities that supports and validates the new approaches to teaching that have been adopted. These data are reviewed, and their applicability to physiology education is discussed. Some of the inherent limitations of research about teaching and learning are also discussed.
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