Students in Lecture-based Classes Perform More Poorly Than “Active-based” Classes

This seems obvious, but now we have some science to back it up.  In many engineering, science, and math classes, active-learning has increased grades, sometimes half a grade from an A- to a B+.  From the article itself:

Freeman and his co-authors based their findings on 225 studies of undergraduate education across all of the “STEM” areas: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. They found that 55 percent more students fail lecture-based courses than classes with at least some active learning. Two previous studies looked only at subsets of the STEM areas and none before considered failure rates.

On average across all the studies, a little more than one-third of students in traditional lecture classes failed — that is, they either withdrew or got Fs or Ds, which generally means they were ineligible to take more advanced courses. On average with active learning, a little more than one-fifth of students failed.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a similar study happened within the humanities.

About shaunmiller

I am an assistant professor (LTR) at Dalhousie University. My ideas are not associated with my employer; they are expressions of my own thoughts and ideas. Some of them are just musings while others could be serious discussions that could turn into a bigger project. Besides philosophy, I enjoy martial arts (Kuk Sool Won), playing my violin, enjoying coffee around town, and experimenting with new food.
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