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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.
Despite many studies confirming that active learning in STEM classrooms improves student outcomes, instructors’ adoption of active learning has been surprisingly slow. This work-in-progress paper describes our broader research study in which we compare the efficacy of a traditional active learning workshop (AL) and an extended version of this workshop that also specifically highlights instructor strategies to reduce resistance (AL+) on instructors’ beliefs about and actual adoption of active learning in undergraduate STEM classrooms. Through a randomized control trial (RCT), we aim to understand the ways in which these workshops influence instructors’ motivation to adopt and the actual use of active learning. This RCT involves instructors and students at a large number of institutions including two-year college, four-year college, and large research institutions in three regions of the country and strategies to reduce student resistance to active learning. We have developed and piloted three instruments, which allow for triangulation of classroom data: an instructor survey, a student survey, and a classroom observation protocol. This work-in-progress paper will cover the current progress of our research study and present our research instruments.