Teaching Techniques

Active Learning

ABSTRACT: Several studies have found active learning to enhance students’ motivation and attitudes. Yet, faculty indicate that students resist active learning and censure them on evaluations after incorporating active learning into their instruction, resulting in an apparent paradox. We argue that the disparity in findings across previous studies is the result of variation in the active learning instruction that was implemented. The purpose of this study was to illuminate sources of motivation from and resistance to active learning that resulted from a novel, exemplary active-learning approach rooted in essential science practices and supported by science education literature.


  • Well-Written Assignments: Using Clear Expectations to Receive the Papers You Want to Read
    • A worksheet for writing a good assignment sheet. From "Our Students Aren't in Our Heads With Us." The Chronicle of Higher Education, 8 Feb 2018 (online).
      - Rebecca Weaver, Georgia State University-Perimeter College.
    • A sample assignment guide for detailed textual analysis when students tend toward writing a research report or other type of paper. The guide is supplemental to logistics on due date, length, source requirements, etc. provided in the syllabus.
      -Craig R. Clarkson, Baylor University Academy for Teaching and Learning.

Lectures and Large Classes


DESCRIPTION: Over the past 50 years, we have witnessed a revolution in how technology has affected teaching and learning. Beginning in the 1970s with the use of television in the classroom, to video teleconferencing in the 1980s, to computers in the classroom in the 1990s, to the social media technologies of today, advances in information technology are affecting how students learn and how faculty teach. Indeed, recent research suggests that information technologies may be both beneficial and harmful to how students learn. Some findings (e.g., Green & Bavelier, 2012) suggest that today’s students have improved visual-spatial capabilities, reaction times, and the capacity to identify details among clutter but show a decline in attention and critical thinking compared to yesterday’s students. Thus, the challenge for faculty is to determine which technology to employ so that it will facilitate learning for students. This is no small feat as each new wave of advancements in information technology has produced an ever-increasing variety of tools from which to choose.