research spotlight article

From The New York Times:

A new study, published in the journal CBE Life Science Education, looked at six semesters of an introductory biology class at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Three terms took a lecture-based approach and three demanded more participation by students. The more active approach gave students more in-class activities and online exercises that forced students to think about the material rather than just memorize it. This active learning strategy raised average test scores more than 3 percentage points. This score increase was doubled, to more than 6 percentage points, for black students and first-generation college students. Other studies have shown similar improvements from demanding more student interaction, but did not break that down by demographic groups. Full text of the study can be found here.