Title

A SCALE-UP mock-up: Comparison of student learning gains in high- and low-tech active-learning environments

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Student-centered learning environments with upside-down pedagogies (SCALE-UP) are widely implemented at institutions across the country, and learning gains from these classrooms have been well documented. This study investigates the specific design feature(s) of the SCALE-UP classroom most conducive to teaching and learning. Using pilot survey data from instructors and students to prioritize the most salient SCALE-UP classroom features, we created a low-tech “Mock-up” version of this classroom and tested the impact of these features on student learning, attitudes, and satisfaction using a quasi-experimental setup. The same instructor taught two sections of an introductory biology course in the SCALE-UP and Mock-up rooms. Although students in both sections were equivalent in terms of gender, grade point average, incoming ACT, and drop/fail/withdraw rate, the Mock-up classroom enrolled significantly more freshmen. Controlling for class standing, multiple regression modeling revealed no significant differences in exam, in-class, preclass, and Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology Concept Inventory scores between the SCALE-UP and Mock-up classrooms. Thematic analysis of student comments highlighted that collaboration and whiteboards enhanced the learning experience, but technology was not important. Student satisfaction and attitudes were comparable. These results suggest that the benefits of a SCALE-UP experience can be achieved at lower cost without technology features.

Publication Title

CBE Life Sciences Education

Volume

16

Issue

1

Publication Date

3-1-2017

DOI

10.1187/cbe.16-07-0228

E-ISSN

19317913

PubMed ID

28213582

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