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ERIC Number: EJ1080686
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 58
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: EISSN-1527-9316
An Approach to Engaging Students in a Large-Enrollment, Introductory STEM College Course
Swap, Robert J.; Walter, Jonathan A.
Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v15 n5 p1-21 Oct 2015
While it is clear that engagement between students and instructors positively affects learning outcomes, a number of factors make such engagement difficult to achieve in large-enrollment introductory courses. This has led to pessimism among some education professionals regarding the degree of engagement possible in these courses. In this paper we challenge this pessimistic outlook through a case study involving a large-enrollment introductory, general education, STEM college course. Several pedagogical approaches related to social constructivist theory offer possibilities for increasing student engagement in the learning process, but they may be difficult to implement, particularly in environments yielding little or no reward for classroom innovation. Here, we present an approach to developing an engaging learning environment by hybridizing aspects from a range of pedagogical approaches varying from the didactic (e.g. traditional lecture) to the more constructivist (e.g. peer instruction, project-based learning). We describe the course in question and our pedagogical approach, provide evidence for its effectiveness, and discuss contextual factors affecting the development of our approach and its adoption to other subjects and institutions. We also discuss important remaining challenges regarding the adoption of our approach and similar practices.
Indiana University. 755 West Michigan Street UL 1180D, Indianapolis, IN 46202. Tel: 317-274-5647; Fax: 317-278-2360; e-mail: josotl@iupui.edu; Web site: http://www.iupui.edu/~josotl
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia