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GIFTS: Overcoming Student Resistance to Active Learning: First-Year Educator’s Experiences of Transferring Research into Practice

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2020 First-Year Engineering Experience


East Lansing, Michigan

Publication Date

July 26, 2020

Start Date

July 26, 2020

End Date

July 28, 2020

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Prateek Shekhar New Jersey Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16

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Prateek Shekhar is a Assistant Professor - Engineering Education at New Jersey Institute of Technology.. His research is focused on examining translation of engineering education research in practice, assessment and evaluation of dissemination initiatives and educational programs in engineering disciplines. He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Southern California and B.S. in Electronics and Communication Engineering from India.

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This GIFTS paper presents ideas for overcoming student resistance to active learning by leveraging recent STEM education research in the area. In this paper, active learning is described as a teaching methodology which involves student participation in the learning process during class time instead of being passive note-takers or listeners. Some of the examples of active learning include think-pair-share, just-in-time teaching, group discussions, and project-based learning. The benefits of such active learning techniques are widely noted in engineering and STEM education literature. However, the translation of active learning in engineering classrooms has been slow. Research has noted several faculty-reported barriers to the use of active learning such as faculty preparation time, concerns about the availability to come cover required syllabus, and negative student response or student resistance to active learning. The presented paper focuses on student resistance as a barrier to the use of active learning in engineering classrooms. Faculty attempting to use active learning often discontinue its use due to the fear of student resistance in the form of negative in-class response and/or negative course evaluations. To address student resistance as a barrier to instructional change and continued use of active learning, recent research has identified several strategies for mitigating student resistance in undergraduate classrooms. This paper uses these recent research findings in a real-classroom setting. The paper presents a reflective summary of a faculty’s experience in using research-identified strategies to overcome student resistance in a first-year engineering course.

Shekhar, P. (2020, July), GIFTS: Overcoming Student Resistance to Active Learning: First-Year Educator’s Experiences of Transferring Research into Practice Paper presented at 2020 First-Year Engineering Experience, East Lansing, Michigan.

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