ERIC Number: EJ1160985
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Enhancing Diversity in Undergraduate Science: Self-Efficacy Drives Performance Gains with Active Learning
Ballen, Cissy J.; Wieman, Carl; Salehi, Shima; Searle, Jeremy B.; Zamudio, Kelly R.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v16 n4 Article 56 Dec 2017
Efforts to retain underrepresented minority (URM) students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have shown only limited success in higher education, due in part to a persistent achievement gap between students from historically underrepresented and well-represented backgrounds. To test the hypothesis that active learning disproportionately benefits URM students, we quantified the effects of traditional versus active learning on student academic performance, science self-efficacy, and sense of social belonging in a large (more than 250 students) introductory STEM course. A transition to active learning closed the gap in learning gains between non-URM and URM students and led to an increase in science self-efficacy for all students. Sense of social belonging also increased significantly with active learning, but only for non-URM students. Through structural equation modeling, we demonstrate that, for URM students, the increase in self-efficacy mediated the positive effect of active-learning pedagogy on two metrics of student performance. Our results add to a growing body of research that supports varied and inclusive teaching as one pathway to a diversified STEM workforce.
Descriptors: Undergraduate Students, Minority Group Students, Disproportionate Representation, STEM Education, Achievement Gap, Active Learning, Hypothesis Testing, Academic Achievement, Science Process Skills, Self Efficacy, Sense of Community, Introductory Courses, Structural Equation Models, Teaching Methods, Comparative Analysis, Inclusion, Student Diversity, Statistical Analysis, Outcomes of Education, Student Improvement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York