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Title: Promoting adoption of active learning and use of strategies to reduce student resistance to active learning
Abstract: Our research has identified strategies instructors can use to reduce student resistance to active learning, and we are developing a workshop intervention to change instructors’ motivation and behaviour related to adoption of active learning and of these strategies. We are using a randomized control trial to assess the impact of the workshop on instructors’ value, self-efficacy, and actual adoption of both active learning and the strategies to reduce resistance. In this paper, we describe our processes for recruiting workshop participants and for developing an instructor survey to assess the impact of the workshop.
Authors:
; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1821488
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10112911
Journal Name:
Research in Engineering Education Symposium
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  4. Active learning increases student learning, engagement, and interest in STEM and subsequently, the number and diversity of graduates. Yet, its adoption has been slow, partially due to instructors’ concerns about student resistance. Consequently, researchers proposed explanation and facilitation instructional strategies designed to reduce this resistance. Using surveys from 2-year and 4-year institutions including minority-serving institutions, we investigate the relationship between students’ affective and behavioral responses to active learning, instructors’ use of strategies, and active learning type. Analyses revealed low levels of student resistance and significant relationships between both explanation and facilitation strategy use and positive student responses.
  5. Abstract Background

    The University of California system has a novel tenure-track education-focused faculty position called Lecturer with Security of Employment (working titles: Teaching Professor or Professor of Teaching). We focus on the potential difference in implementation of active-learning strategies by faculty type, including tenure-track education-focused faculty, tenure-track research-focused faculty, and non-tenure-track lecturers. In addition, we consider other instructor characteristics (faculty rank, years of teaching, and gender) and classroom characteristics (campus, discipline, and class size). We use a robust clustering algorithm to determine the number of clusters, identify instructors using active learning, and to understand the instructor and classroom characteristics in relation to the adoption of active-learning strategies.

    Results

    We observed 125 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) undergraduate courses at three University of California campuses using the Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM to examine active-learning strategies implemented in the classroom. Tenure-track education-focused faculty are more likely to teach with active-learning strategies compared to tenure-track research-focused faculty. Instructor and classroom characteristics that are also related to active learning include campus, discipline, and class size. The campus with initiatives and programs to support undergraduate STEM education is more likely to have instructors who adopt active-learning strategies. There is no difference in instructors inmore »the Biological Sciences, Engineering, or Information and Computer Sciences disciplines who teach actively. However, instructors in the Physical Sciences are less likely to teach actively. Smaller class sizes also tend to have instructors who teach more actively.

    Conclusions

    The novel tenure-track education-focused faculty position within the University of California system represents a formal structure that results in higher adoption of active-learning strategies in undergraduate STEM education. Campus context and evolving expectations of the position (faculty rank) contribute to the symbols related to learning and teaching that correlate with differential implementation of active learning.

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