Reducing Student Resistance to Active Learning: Strategies for Instructors

Cynthia J. Finelli, Kevin Nguyen, Matthew DeMonbrun, Maura Borrego, Michael Prince, Jenefer Husman, Charles Henderson, Prateek Shekhar, Cynthia K. Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

In spite of considerable evidence of the effectiveness of active learning and other contemporary teaching methods, barriers to adoption of those methods, such as possible student resistance, continue to exist. This study addresses student resistance by analyzing data from 1,051 students who completed our Student Response to Instructional Practices (StRIP) instrument in 18 introductory engineering courses where active learning was implemented. Through descriptive statistics, correlation analyses, and hierarchical linear regression modeling, we demonstrate that students ‘perceptions of their instructors’ use of explanation and facilitation strategies can have a significant impact on student resistance. This study provides a more complete picture of the relative efficacy of these strategies to reduce resistance and confirms that students ‘perceptions of their instructors’ use of these strategies can influence both how students engage with active learning and how students evaluate the course and instructor. We provide evidencebased advice for both new and experienced instructors to reduce student resistance to active learning and other contemporary teaching methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-91
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of College Science Teaching
Volume47
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

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