Systematic Literature Review of Students' Affective Responses to Active Learning: Overview of Results

Maura Borrego, Kevin A. Nguyen, Caroline Crockett, Matt Demonbrun, Prateek Shekhar, Sneha Tharayil, Cynthia J. Finelli, Robyn S. Rosenberg, Cynthia Waters

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations


This full 'research' paper presents an overview of results of a systematic literature review of students' affective responses to active learning in undergraduate STEM courses. We considered 2,364 abstracts of conference papers and journal articles published since 1990, and 412 studies met our inclusion criteria. The studies span the STEM disciplines and report various types of active learning. Their research designs include primarily quantitative methods (especially instructor-designed surveys and course evaluations), and they find that students' affective responses are overwhelmingly positive. Few studies excelled on our quality score metric, and there few statistically significant differences by discipline (but biology studies and chemistry studies scored significantly higher in quality than electrical engineering studies). We include several possible directions for future work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Education
Subtitle of host publicationFostering Innovation Through Diversity, FIE 2018 - Conference Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781538611739
StatePublished - Jul 2 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event48th Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2018 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Oct 3 2018Oct 6 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Conference48th Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Active learning
  • STEM
  • Systematic review
  • Undergraduate


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