Strategies Designed To Promote Active Learning And Student Satisfaction

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Sandra A. Sessa

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Abstract

Four strategies designed to promote active learning and student satisfaction were employed with two classes of undergraduate students, one day and one evening, in a course in adolescent development. They included the use of small group collaborative testing; face-to-face interviews with adolescents and oral presentations of the results; naturalistic field observations with reports and discussion; and PowerPoint slide presentations with handouts. The students anonymously rated each of the strategies using a likert-type scale at the end of the semester. The evaluations were very positive with 89% to 97% of the students rating the strategies as “liked it very much” or “liked it” for all of the strategies. The average grade achieved in both classes was a “B”. Means for the day class were compared to the evening class and no significant differences were found, suggesting similar positive ratings by both classes. Findings add support to the literature regarding student preferences for the use of active learning methods, involvement in cooperative learning activities, and collaborative test taking compared to lectures “straight from the podium” and individual testing.

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