Next Article in Journal
Perceived Benefits of a Standardized Patient Simulation in Pre-Placement Dietetic Students
Previous Article in Journal
Learning to Teach: How a Simulated Learning Environment Can Connect Theory to Practice in General and Special Education Educator Preparation Programs
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Impact of Learning Strategies and Future Orientation on Academic Success: The Moderating Role of Academic Self-Efficacy among Italian Undergraduate Students
Open AccessArticle

Active Learning: Subtypes, Intra-Exam Comparison, and Student Survey in an Undergraduate Biology Course

1
Departments of Biostatistics and Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
2
Department of Biostatistics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
3
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(7), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10070185
Received: 15 May 2020 / Revised: 9 July 2020 / Accepted: 14 July 2020 / Published: 20 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Undergraduate Research as a High Impact Practice in Higher Education)
Active learning improves undergraduate STEM course comprehension; however, student comprehension using different active learning methods and student perception of active learning have not been fully explored. We analyze ten semesters (six years) of an undergraduate biology course (honors and non-honors sections) to understand student comprehension and student satisfaction using a variety of active learning methods. First, we describe and introduce active learning subtypes. Second, we explore the efficacy of active learning subtypes. Third, we compare student comprehension between course material taught with active learning or lecturing within a course. Finally, we determine student satisfaction with active learning using a survey. We divide active learning into five subtypes based on established learning taxonomies and student engagement. We explore subtype comprehension efficacy (median % correct) compared to lecture learning (median 92% correct): Recognition (100%), Reflective (100%), Exchanging (94.1%), Constructive (93.8%), and Analytical (93.3%). A bivariate random intercept model adjusted by honors shows improved exam performance in subsequent exams and better course material comprehension when taught using active learning compared to lecture learning (2.2% versus 1.2%). The student survey reveals a positive trend over six years of teaching in the Perceived Individual Utility component of active learning (tau = 0.21, p = 0.014), but not for the other components (General Theoretical Utility, and Team Situation). We apply our findings to the COVID-19 pandemic and suggest active learning adaptations for newly modified online courses. Overall, our results suggest active learning subtypes may be useful for differentiating student comprehension, provide additional evidence that active learning is more beneficial to student comprehension, and show that student perceptions of active learning are positively changing. View Full-Text
Keywords: active learning subtypes; team-based skills; student active learning survey; undergraduate (target learners); biology; STEM; student engagement; innovations in education; COVID-19 active learning subtypes; team-based skills; student active learning survey; undergraduate (target learners); biology; STEM; student engagement; innovations in education; COVID-19
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

McGreevy, K.M.; Church, F.C. Active Learning: Subtypes, Intra-Exam Comparison, and Student Survey in an Undergraduate Biology Course. Educ. Sci. 2020, 10, 185.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop