When Active Learning Fails: How Faculty Beliefs and Intentions Inform Their Teaching and Influence Student Outcomes (GSES)


Friday, May 12, 2017, 4:00pm to 5:00pm


Harvard Medical School, Modell 100A - Rosen Lecture Hall

CFP Graduate Science Education Seminar

In the past few decades, commissions and reports have called for the transformation of undergraduate science education. While many active-learning approaches have been shown to be effective across contexts, discrepant results raise challenging questions about specific implementations and their related efficacies. This study examines how different faculty implement the same active-learning approaches and what factors correlate with positive student outcomes.Specifically, we analyze student outcomes in both cognitive and affective learning using concept inventories and surveys, as well as persistence in a series of four introductory biology courses each with 200-300 students. In parallel, we dissect how faculty teach these courses and triangulate their actions in the classrooms with their intentions and beliefs about teaching using a combination observations, surveys, and interviews. In this seminar, we will examine these research data to discuss how multiple people enact the same curriculum, why they implement active learning in specific but distinct manners, and what actions in the classrooms and beliefs about teaching correlate with positive student outcomes. From these results, we propose a new model to understand how and why faculty teach differently and what features of their teaching promote student success.

Stanley Lo, PhD
Assistant Teaching Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and of Mathematics and Science Education
University of California San Diego
Followed by a reception at 5PM. Open to all members of the Harvard Community. 

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