Active learning in informal learning spaces: science students’ experiences

Chan Chang-Tik, Beng-Kah Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In crafting the active learning approach for this study, we leverage on the definition of active learning as a methodology that requires students’ active collaborative engagement and involvement in their own learning and they are held accountable for learning with peers. Building from social interaction, we extend the notion of active learning to include socio-cognitive conflicts and socio-emotional conflicts. Subsequently, the aim of this study is to gain insights into science students’ experiences and perceptions of active learning in informal learning spaces. The current study used a basic qualitative research method involving 29 genetics students. The data were collected from the 2-hour video recordings and 45-minute semi-structured focus group interviews. The conceptual content analysis approach was used to analyse the data. The results reveal that the higher-performing students are able to regulate the cognitive processes, and to learn effectively in a minimally guided instruction environment outside the classroom by relying on their peers as a reliable source of information. However, the lower-performing students depend on their lecturer to transfer knowledge to them. They do not believe it is possible to learn science from their peers. Probably because they do not know how to learn in a group.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalPedagogies: An International Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Active learning
  • group-based learning
  • informal learning spaces
  • learning activities
  • science students

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