Project Title

Active Learning— The Key to Students’ Academic Success Within Science and Mathematics Courses?

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Mathematics

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Kadian M. Callahan

Additional Faculty

Dr. Scott A. Reese, Biology, sreese3@kennesaw.edu

Abstract (300 words maximum)

This is a research study that explores the relationship between students’ learning experiences and their academic success in science and mathematics courses at Kennesaw State University (KSU). In recent years, the general consensus of academic institutions’ understanding towards STEM courses is that there has been a decline in students’ enrollment and achievement. Seeking improvement, researchers have called for a systemic change in undergraduate STEM teaching and learning practices (“Essential Questions”). In this particular study, the focus is on the examination of students’ learning experiences in undergraduate science and mathematics courses. Previous studies have shown that the most successful science and mathematics courses tend to utilize active learning practices. The researchers’ purpose is to identify the practices used in the most successful classrooms and implement them in other courses. The classroom will serve as observational grounds for the collection of data through the use of the COPUS instrument. COPUS (Classroom Observational Protocol for Undergraduate STEM) is a continuous, minute-by-minute protocol used to record the simultaneous tasks and behaviors of students and the instructor. The researchers will also further investigate students’ personal learning experiences through focus groups. The results of this study will provide information about the learning practices, achievement, and retention of undergraduate students taking science or mathematics courses at KSU.

Project Type

Poster

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Active Learning— The Key to Students’ Academic Success Within Science and Mathematics Courses?

This is a research study that explores the relationship between students’ learning experiences and their academic success in science and mathematics courses at Kennesaw State University (KSU). In recent years, the general consensus of academic institutions’ understanding towards STEM courses is that there has been a decline in students’ enrollment and achievement. Seeking improvement, researchers have called for a systemic change in undergraduate STEM teaching and learning practices (“Essential Questions”). In this particular study, the focus is on the examination of students’ learning experiences in undergraduate science and mathematics courses. Previous studies have shown that the most successful science and mathematics courses tend to utilize active learning practices. The researchers’ purpose is to identify the practices used in the most successful classrooms and implement them in other courses. The classroom will serve as observational grounds for the collection of data through the use of the COPUS instrument. COPUS (Classroom Observational Protocol for Undergraduate STEM) is a continuous, minute-by-minute protocol used to record the simultaneous tasks and behaviors of students and the instructor. The researchers will also further investigate students’ personal learning experiences through focus groups. The results of this study will provide information about the learning practices, achievement, and retention of undergraduate students taking science or mathematics courses at KSU.