June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Educational Research and Methods
Paper type: Evidence-Based Practice
Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of collaborative active-learning pedagogies compared to traditional lectures across STEM fields. However, incorporating active learning in large classes presents unique challenges in stimulating student engagement by developing quality activities. A growing trend at universities is to create collaborative learning spaces (CLSs) that are purposefully designed and equipped to facilitate active learning. While some research has identified learning activities that are effective in CLS environments based on learning psychology, the success of individual activities is neither defined nor measured. This gap in knowledge is often met with a trial and error approach over the course of numerous semesters and adjustments are made based on instructors' partial perceptions. But activity effectiveness is not evaluated and correlated to student performance.
We present a novel measurement instrument called Fine-grained Evaluation of Active Learning (FEAL) for large CLS-based classes. FEAL can be quickly administered by preceptors to record key measures of activity success such as student engagement, activity difficulty, associated lecture time, and activity time. Other relevant information such as the concepts covered by the activity and the activity type are also recorded to be later cross-analyzed. FEAL can be applied to code exam questions and to assess student performance for the same concepts. We applied FEAL to a large freshman-level computer programming course with a student enrollment of 200 over the course of one semester. We present an overview of FEAL, its administration process within the CLS, and a detailed account of our evaluation methodology. We also highlight key lessons learned and conclusions drawn on the success or failure of individual activities, and outline planned improvements to in-class activities based on the obtained results.
Lu, S., & Lazos, L., & Lysecky, R. (2017, June), FEAL: Fine-Grained Evaluation of Active Learning in Collaborative Learning Spaces Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28353
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