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Scientific literature

The effects of using Active Learning Classrooms have been studied intensively over the last years. Below you can find some relevant literature if you want to know more about a specific topic.

Active learning
  • Shroff, R. H., Ting, F. S. T., & Lam, W. H. (2019). Development and validation of an instrument to measure students’ perceptions of technology-enabled active learning.  Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 35(4).  https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.4472 

This article contains the definition of active learning as it is used within the University of Groningen. It also describes the development of an instrument to measure students' perceptions of active learning.

This article provides insight into the differences between 'traditional learning' (e.g. lectures) and active learning. It provides a clear visual representation of the different ways students receive information in both settings.

Effective use of Active Learning Classrooms

This quasi-experimental design study showed strong empirical evidence that technologically enhanced learning environments, independent of all other factors, have a significant and positive impact on student learning.

This book chapter contains the definition of Active Learning Classrooms as used within the University of Groningen.

This blog article describes three good reasons (and also three less good reasons) to apply active learning in practice.

Students' experiences and performance

This article explores students’ perceptions in association with the affordances and features of learning space, specifically examining classroom climate, learning and motivation, classroom engagement, and benefits and challenges of furniture and technology.

  • Chiu, P. H. P., & Cheng, S. H. (2017). Effects of active learning classrooms on student learning: A two-year empirical investigation on student perceptions and academic performance. Higher Education Research & Development, 36(2), 269-279. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2016.1196475 

In this study, a large-scale two-year longitudinal study, researchers examined the benefits of active learning classrooms on students’ creative and innovative thinking, across a variety of disciplines and for all learners, regardless of the level of academic achievement.

  • Deslauriers, L., McCarty, L. S., Miller, K., Callaghan, K., & Kestin, G. (2019). Measuring actual learning versus feeling of learning in response to being actively engaged in the classroom. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116, 19251-19257. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1821936116

This article addresses the long-standing question of why students and faculty remain resistant to active learning. Comparing passive lectures with active learning using a randomized experimental approach and identical course materials, the study found that students in the active classroom learn more, but they feel like they learn less. 

  • Freeman, S., Eddy, S. L., et al. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(23), 8410-8415. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1319030111

The results from this study indicate that average examination scores improved by about 6% in active learning sections, and that students in classes with traditional lecturing were 1.5 times more likely to fail than were students in classes with active learning. Both results hold across the STEM disciplines. Also, active learning appears effective across all class sizes—although the greatest effects are in small (n ≤ 50) classes.

  • Lorenzo, M., Crouch, C. H., & Mazur, E. (2006). Reducing the gender gap in the physics classroom. American Journal of Physics, 74(2), 118-122. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.2162549 

This study shows that applying interactive learning strategies significantly improves understanding for both men and women. In addition, it narrows the differences between male and female students (the 'gender gap'). In the most interactive courses, this gender gap had disappeared by the end of the semester.

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Last modified:17 May 2022 1.14 p.m.
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