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ERIC Number: EJ1086085
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1521-0251
Comparing Linear and Nonlinear Delivery of Introductory Psychology Lectures: Improving Student Retention
Cramer, Kenneth M.; Sands, Mandy
Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, v17 n4 p462-468 Feb 2016
As in most disciplines, the typical introductory class presents topics to students in a linear fashion, beginning (to use psychology as an example) with the history of the field, research methods, brain and neurons, sensation and perception, and so on. This study examined the impact of topic sequence on student achievement. The same professor taught two different sections of an introductory psychology university course during one semester. One section of the course received lectures in the standard linear order, while the other section received lectures in a nonlinear order, beginning with memory and consciousness, followed by history and research methods. Nonlinear-delivery students scored significantly higher on their midterm for four of the seven assigned chapters and performed better overall for the final examination than did linear-delivery students. Nonlinear-student attrition was also significantly lower (7.1% vs. 16.9%). These findings suggest that presentation of material in a nonlinear order better lends itself to student understanding.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A