When active learning fails

Evidence-based teaching seminar with Stanley Lo

When active learning fails: How faculty beliefs and intentions inform their teaching and influence student outcomes

Stanley Lo, Asst. Teaching Professor, UC San Diego

In the past few decades, commissions and reports have called for the
transformation of undergraduate science education. While many active -learning approaches have been shown to be effective across contexts, discrepant results raise challenging questions about specific implementations and their related efficacies. This study examines how different faculty implement the same active-learning approaches and what factors correlate with positive student outcomes.
Specifically, we analyze student outcomes in both cognitive and affective learning using concept inventories and surveys, as well as persistence in a series of four large introductory biology courses each with 200-300 students. In parallel, we dissect how faculty teach these courses and triangulate their actions in the classrooms with their intentions and beliefs about teaching using a combination observations, surveys, and interviews. In this interactive seminar, we will examine these research data to discuss how multiple people enact the same curriculum, why they implement active learning in specific but distinct manners, and what actions in the classrooms and beliefs about teaching correlate with better student outcomes. From these results, we propose a new model to understand how and why faculty teach differently and what features of their teaching promote student successes.

Introducing the Fall 2016 Seminar series called “Evidence-based Teaching in STEM” on select Fridays from 3-5:00pm in LSE 106. The format is a 45 minute talk focused on undergraduate STEM education research by an expert in STEM education. This will be followed by a 15 minute Q&A and then an 30 minute interactive and hands-on workshops where participants can brainstorm how to turn the ideas from the talk into concrete aspects for their own courses.

This seminar is targeted to faculty, instructors, graduate and undergrad students interested in teaching and learning.

Friday, Nov. 18 | 3 - 5 p.m.
LSE 106
School of Life Sciences - E wing