Faculty Showcase: Active Learning with Professor Barbekka Hurtt
Research on active learning points to the value of engaging students in in-class discussion, group problem-solving and application. A recently-published paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported on a meta-analysis of 225 studies comparing STEM classes taught through various active learning approaches with classes taught via lecture. Researchers found that across these studies “the average exam scores improved by about 6% in active learning sessions” and “students in classes with traditional lecturing were 1.5 times more likely to fail than were students in classes with active learning.”
Yet, what does active learning look like in the classroom? Dr. Barbekka Hurtt, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, incorporates active learning into her non-majors biology class to help students apply what they are learning and see its value in their own lives. Check out the video below to see Barbekka’s students engaging in active learning, and to hear Barbekka talk about why she likes to have her students learn this way, what the challenges are, and what she’s learned through the experience.