Enhancing diversity in undergraduate science

self-efficacy drives performance gains with active learning

Cissy Ballen, Carl Wieman, Shima Salehi, Jeremy B. Searle, Kelly R. Zamudio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Efforts to retain underrepresented minority (URM) students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have shown only limited success in higher education, due in part to a persistent achievement gap between students from historically underrepresented and well-represented backgrounds. To test the hypothesis that active learning disproportionately benefits URM students, we quantified the effects of traditional versus active learning on student academic performance, science self-efficacy, and sense of social belonging in a large (more than 250 students) introductory STEM course. A transition to active learning closed the gap in learning gains between non-URM and URM students and led to an increase in science self-efficacy for all students. Sense of social belonging also increased significantly with active learning, but only for non-URM students. Through structural equation modeling, we demonstrate that, for URM students, the increase in self-efficacy mediated the positive effect of active-learning pedagogy on two metrics of student performance. Our results add to a growing body of research that supports varied and inclusive teaching as one pathway to a diversified STEM workforce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberar56
JournalCBE Life Sciences Education
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

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Problem-Based Learning
Self Efficacy
self-efficacy
Students
science
learning
performance
minority
student
Mathematics
mathematics
engineering
Technology
Teaching
Drive
Education
Learning

Cite this

Enhancing diversity in undergraduate science : self-efficacy drives performance gains with active learning. / Ballen, Cissy; Wieman, Carl; Salehi, Shima; Searle, Jeremy B.; Zamudio, Kelly R.

In: CBE Life Sciences Education, Vol. 16, No. 4, ar56, 01.12.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ballen, Cissy ; Wieman, Carl ; Salehi, Shima ; Searle, Jeremy B. ; Zamudio, Kelly R. / Enhancing diversity in undergraduate science : self-efficacy drives performance gains with active learning. In: CBE Life Sciences Education. 2017 ; Vol. 16, No. 4.
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