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Promoting Collaborative Groups In Large Enrollment Courses.

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.510.1 - 5.510.19

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Paper Authors

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Jeffery M. Saul

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Rhett J. Allain

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Duane L. Deardorff

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David S. Abbott

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Robert J. Beichner

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1526

Promoting collaborative groups in large enrollment courses

Robert J. Beichner, Jeffery M. Saul, Rhett J. Allain, Duane L. Deardorff, David S. Abbott North Carolina State University


SCALE-UP is an extension of the highly successful IMPEC project (Integrated Math, Physics, Engineering, and Chemistry), one of NC State’s curricular reform efforts undertaken as part of the SUCCEED coalition. Basically, we are utilizing the highly interactive, collaboratively-based instruction that worked so well in smaller class settings and finding ways to economically accommodate classes of 100 students. Relative to students taught in traditional classes, SCALE-UP students are better problem solvers, achieve nearly four times the gain on certain conceptual tests, have better attitudes toward science, and report greater satisfaction with their instruction. Retention rates for females are twice those in regular classes. Technology is used to provide a phenomenological focus for students, allowing data collection, analysis, mathematical modeling, and advanced simulations. As student attention is drawn into analyzing different physical situations, teachers circulate around the room and engage students in Socratic dialogs. Lecturing is minimal, primarily for motivation and to provide an overview of topics. Use of WebAssign, a web-based problem delivery and grading system, ensures that students have reviewed the textbook before attending class. This technology also permits students to conduct peer evaluations of each other’s work. This poster presentation describes some of the different protocols we utilize to facilitate group functioning; including group member selection, contracts, team self-evaluations, scoring to promote participation by the better students in group activities, requirements for team presentations, etc. Examples of evaluation forms, activities to introduce the benefits of teamwork, and teacher guidelines will also be on display.

I. Introduction

A description of the SCALE-UP project can be found in the paper “SCALE-UP (Student- Centered Activities for Large Enrollment University Physics)” in session 2380. The basic idea is that we have merged lecture and lab classtime into a course that stresses activities by the students. We have tested a variety of classroom layouts and experimented with different course management techniques. We have been very pleased with the performance of a redesigned classroom in promoting active and collaborative learning.

Poster 1

Saul, J. M., & Allain, R. J., & Deardorff, D. L., & Abbott, D. S., & Beichner, R. J. (2000, June), Promoting Collaborative Groups In Large Enrollment Courses. Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

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