AAS 197, January 2001
Session 86. Innovations in Teaching Astronomy I
Joint Display, Wednesday, January 10, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[86.09] Collaborative Learning Works! Resources for Faculty

G.A. Brissenden (AAS), R.D. Mathieu (University of Wisconsin - Madison), National Institute for Science Education, College Level - One Team

Recent calls for instructional innovation in college Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology (SMET) courses highlight the need for a solid foundation of education research at the undergraduate level on which to base policy and practice. We report the results of a meta-analysis that integrates research on undergraduate SMET education since 1980. The meta-analysis demonstrates that various forms of small-group learning are effective in promoting greater academic achievement, more favorable attitudes toward learning, and increased persistence through SMET courses and programs.

Specifically, the effect of small-group learning on achievement reported in this study would move a student from the 50th percentile to the 70th percentile on a standardized test. Similarly, the effect on students'persistence is enough to reduce attrition from SMET courses and programs by 22 widespread implementation of small-group learning in college SMET courses.

We have created a Collaborative Learning website designed to assist instructors who wish to incorporate collaborative learning in their lectures, classrooms, and laboratories. The site provides straightforward, easy-to-use ideas for those just getting started, extensive additional resources for those already using small-group techniques, and the educational research foundation for the use of collaborative learning (including the meta-analysis).

The Collaborative Learning site can be found at the NISE "Innovations in SMET Education" website at www.wcer.wisc.edu/nise/cl1

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