Active Learning in Higher Education
Student attitudes toward active learning techniques, such as group discussion, are often negative. The purpose of this study was to determine if an intervention informing students of the usefulness of group discussions affects their attitudes on group discussions. Students were randomly assigned to view a video and answer an essay question either on the value of group discussions (treatment) or on how group discussions were graded (control). Students in the treatment indicated group discussions as more useful as students in the control. Importantly, there were no differences in attitudes prior to the intervention. In addition, students reported their perceptions of the value (benefits) and costs (disadvantages) of group discussions in open-ended items. Findings are informative for pedagogical practice as well as designing future interventions.
Clinton, V. & Kelly, A. (in-press). Student attitudes toward group discussions. Active Learning in Higher Education. DOI: 10.1177/1469787417740277