Problem Solving Learning Research Paper Services
Active learning can be a great addition to classes.
Even without increasing learning, higher engagement may keep students motivated (and likely improves evaluations of faculty in higher ed).
The instructor then gave the first group of students instructions for working on the activity in groups, then went to the other room and gave a 15 minute lecture and instructions for the activity, then back to the first room to give the lecture there.
After all students had received the lecture and activity, they were brought back together in one room and were given the correct answers to the activity and an opportunity to ask questions.
Next, they answered a short survey about their interest and enjoyment in the day’s activities and took a multiple-choice quiz which included procedural questions taken directly from the lecture and conceptual problems that required students to apply the procedures for calculation in order to demonstrate understanding of the underlying concepts.
The results of this first study showed that students performed equally on the procedural problems, but those students who received the activity first performed better on the conceptual problems.
There are a few limitations in this study that the researchers address and should be considered before making sweeping generalizations or recommendations.
These materials were developed by instructors and may not apply to all classes and content areas.
It is possible that the activity provides a certain amount of enjoyment for the students (although there was not a significant difference here in the first study) and that this increased enjoyment leads to greater motivation to stay on task throughout the class period.
In addition, one difference between these two groups is when feedback is given.
When participants worked on the activity, then heard the lecture, and then received feedback, they engaged in retrieval practice when hearing the answers, which may have improved their understanding.
The other group heard the lecture, completed the activity, and received immediate feedback, requiring no retrieval practice from activity to feedback.
So, while these data are compelling, there is certainly more research to be completed in this area.