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Topic: Re: Research on the Extent of Active Learning
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Richard Hake

Posts: 1,251
From: Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Registered: 12/4/04
Re: Research on the Extent of Active Learning
Posted: Dec 5, 2011 3:46 PM
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att1.html (5.4 K)

Some subscribers to MathEdCC might be interested in a discussion list
post "Re: Research on the Extent of Active Learning" [Hake (2011)].
The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: POD's Rae Jean Goodman, in her post "Research on extent of
active learning," evidently equating "active learning" with
"collaborative work," posed this question (paraphrasing): "It is
common knowledge that more 'collaborative work' is being assigned and
carried out by students, but can anyone recommend authoritative
reports or articles that attest to changing learning/teaching

In "The Impact of Concept Inventories On Physics Education and It's
Relevance For Engineering Education" [Hake (2011)
<> (8.7 MB)] I discussed the implementation of
non-traditional "reform pedagogy" in higher education - relevant to
Goodman's post because reform methods often involve "collaborative
work" and/or "active learning." Therein I:

(1) EMPHASIZED economist Bill Goeff's complaint that psychologists
Banta & Blaich (2011), evidently unaware of Physics Education
Research, find few cases of improved learning after a teaching
innovation despite the work of e.g., Hestenes et al. (1992), Hake
(1998a), Crouch et al. (2007), and Deslauriers et al. (2011);

(2) POINTED OUT that:

(a) the glacial inertia of the educational system, though not well
understood, appears to be typical of the slow "Diffusion of
Innovations" [Rogers (2003)] in human society;

(b) there are at least "Eleven Barriers to Change in Higher Education";

(c) even so, for physics education, Rogers' "early adopters" of
reform have now appeared at e.g., Harvard, North Carolina State
University, MIT, the Univ. of Colorado, California Polytechnic at San
Luis Obispo, and the Univ. of British Columbia, possibly presaging a
Rogers "take off" for physics education reform, about two decades
after the first use of Concept Inventories
<>; and

(3) CONCLUDED that:

(a) Concept Inventories can stimulate reform, but judging from the
results in physics it may take about two decades before even early
adopters become evident;

(b) there are at least seven reasons why the rate of adoption of
reforms may be greater in engineering education than in physics

To access the complete 27 kB post please click on <>.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands
President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References which Recognize the
Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII)
Links to Articles: <>
Links to SDI Labs: <>
Blog: <>
Academia: <>

"Physics educators have led the way in developing and using objective
tests to compare student learning gains in different types of
courses, and chemists, biologists, and others are now developing
similar instruments. These tests provide convincing evidence that
students assimilate new knowledge more effectively in courses
including active, inquiry-based, and collaborative learning, assisted
by information technology, than in traditional courses."
Wood & Gentile (2003)

REFERENCES [All URL's shortened by <> and accessed on 5
Dec 2011.]
Hake, R.R. 2011. "Re: Research on the Extent of Active Learning,"
online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at <>. Post
of 4 Dec 2011 19:01:51-0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and
link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion
lists and are also on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at
<> with a provision for comments.

Wood, W.B., & J.M. Gentile. 2003. "Teaching in a research context,"
Science 302: 1510; 28 November; online as a 209 kB pdf at

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