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

8 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

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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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