In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and developed by lead researchers at the University of Washington, which included Scott Freeman, Mary Wenderoth, Sarah Eddy, Miles McDonough, Nnadozie Okoroafor, Hannah Jordt, and Michelle Smith, findings about STEM courses utilizing the active learning model illustrated higher pass rates than courses using a traditional lecture model.
Active Learning and Technology: Designing Change for Faculty, Students, and Institutions
Anne Moore, Shelli Fowler, and Edward Watson
Much of the rhetoric about contemporary higher education suggests that colleges and universities need to embrace change due to advances in knowledge, technology, transportation, and more—advances that have dramatically shifted the way we all function in the modern world. Commission reports, report cards, and public agenda profiles of U.S. requirements for higher education seem to be asking for substantive change. Many years ago, Chris Argyris and Donald Schön described such transformational shifts as double-loop learning, the kind that ultimately brings about changes in an institution’s structure and processes. More to the point, however much the public rhetoric champions transformative change—the kind of organizational learning that signals a marked shift in the way colleges and universities behave—the reality is that most mature organizations and the individuals they employ resist change; and they especially resist the double-loop variety. One way to overcome such resistance is to lower learning anxiety through development programs designed to create new capabilities that people might find useful for personal, professional, or institutional reasons.