Using active learning strategies to shift student attitudes and behaviours about learning and teaching in a research intensive educational context

Paul J White, Ian Larson, Kim Styles, Elizabeth Yuriev, Darrell R Evans, Jennifer L Short, Patangi K Rangachari, Daniel T Malone, Briana Davie, Som Naidu, Nicole Eise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Active learning strategies were used to shift student attitudes and behaviours about learning and teaching in a research intensive Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at a large Australian University. Principles and active learning strategies were developed and tested in discrete content sections during the pilot phase, and then implemented for all students in first and second year units the following two years.
Method: The impact of the approach on student perceptions of active learning, attendance in face-to-face classes and performance in exams were evaluated. Results: The majority of students perceived that active learning improved their understanding of content, developed skills in critical thinking and communication, and corrected misconceptions. Nevertheless, 53% of students felt they “learnt better” in traditional lectures than with active learning during the pilot phase. After strategies to improve student understanding of the generic skill benefit of active learning were implemented, this proportion fell to 34% in year one of implementation and 15% in year two. Students who reported that they “learnt better in traditional lectures” valued clear content presentation, whilst students who disagreed with this statement valued communication and critical thinking skills development and problem solving. Student attendance was 73% higher in active learning units than untransformed units during the implementation phase.
Conclusion: The use of a coordinated and strategic approach to implement active learning led to positive changes in student attitudes to their learning and associated behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-126
Number of pages11
JournalPharmacy Education
Volume15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Active learning
  • Attendance
  • Engagement
  • Pharmacy education
  • Student perception

Cite this

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title = "Using active learning strategies to shift student attitudes and behaviours about learning and teaching in a research intensive educational context",
abstract = "Background: Active learning strategies were used to shift student attitudes and behaviours about learning and teaching in a research intensive Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at a large Australian University. Principles and active learning strategies were developed and tested in discrete content sections during the pilot phase, and then implemented for all students in first and second year units the following two years. Method: The impact of the approach on student perceptions of active learning, attendance in face-to-face classes and performance in exams were evaluated. Results: The majority of students perceived that active learning improved their understanding of content, developed skills in critical thinking and communication, and corrected misconceptions. Nevertheless, 53{\%} of students felt they “learnt better” in traditional lectures than with active learning during the pilot phase. After strategies to improve student understanding of the generic skill benefit of active learning were implemented, this proportion fell to 34{\%} in year one of implementation and 15{\%} in year two. Students who reported that they “learnt better in traditional lectures” valued clear content presentation, whilst students who disagreed with this statement valued communication and critical thinking skills development and problem solving. Student attendance was 73{\%} higher in active learning units than untransformed units during the implementation phase. Conclusion: The use of a coordinated and strategic approach to implement active learning led to positive changes in student attitudes to their learning and associated behaviours.",
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author = "White, {Paul J} and Ian Larson and Kim Styles and Elizabeth Yuriev and Evans, {Darrell R} and Short, {Jennifer L} and Rangachari, {Patangi K} and Malone, {Daniel T} and Briana Davie and Som Naidu and Nicole Eise",
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Using active learning strategies to shift student attitudes and behaviours about learning and teaching in a research intensive educational context. / White, Paul J; Larson, Ian; Styles, Kim; Yuriev, Elizabeth; Evans, Darrell R; Short, Jennifer L; Rangachari, Patangi K; Malone, Daniel T; Davie, Briana; Naidu, Som; Eise, Nicole.

In: Pharmacy Education, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2015, p. 116-126.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Using active learning strategies to shift student attitudes and behaviours about learning and teaching in a research intensive educational context

AU - White, Paul J

AU - Larson, Ian

AU - Styles, Kim

AU - Yuriev, Elizabeth

AU - Evans, Darrell R

AU - Short, Jennifer L

AU - Rangachari, Patangi K

AU - Malone, Daniel T

AU - Davie, Briana

AU - Naidu, Som

AU - Eise, Nicole

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Background: Active learning strategies were used to shift student attitudes and behaviours about learning and teaching in a research intensive Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at a large Australian University. Principles and active learning strategies were developed and tested in discrete content sections during the pilot phase, and then implemented for all students in first and second year units the following two years. Method: The impact of the approach on student perceptions of active learning, attendance in face-to-face classes and performance in exams were evaluated. Results: The majority of students perceived that active learning improved their understanding of content, developed skills in critical thinking and communication, and corrected misconceptions. Nevertheless, 53% of students felt they “learnt better” in traditional lectures than with active learning during the pilot phase. After strategies to improve student understanding of the generic skill benefit of active learning were implemented, this proportion fell to 34% in year one of implementation and 15% in year two. Students who reported that they “learnt better in traditional lectures” valued clear content presentation, whilst students who disagreed with this statement valued communication and critical thinking skills development and problem solving. Student attendance was 73% higher in active learning units than untransformed units during the implementation phase. Conclusion: The use of a coordinated and strategic approach to implement active learning led to positive changes in student attitudes to their learning and associated behaviours.

AB - Background: Active learning strategies were used to shift student attitudes and behaviours about learning and teaching in a research intensive Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at a large Australian University. Principles and active learning strategies were developed and tested in discrete content sections during the pilot phase, and then implemented for all students in first and second year units the following two years. Method: The impact of the approach on student perceptions of active learning, attendance in face-to-face classes and performance in exams were evaluated. Results: The majority of students perceived that active learning improved their understanding of content, developed skills in critical thinking and communication, and corrected misconceptions. Nevertheless, 53% of students felt they “learnt better” in traditional lectures than with active learning during the pilot phase. After strategies to improve student understanding of the generic skill benefit of active learning were implemented, this proportion fell to 34% in year one of implementation and 15% in year two. Students who reported that they “learnt better in traditional lectures” valued clear content presentation, whilst students who disagreed with this statement valued communication and critical thinking skills development and problem solving. Student attendance was 73% higher in active learning units than untransformed units during the implementation phase. Conclusion: The use of a coordinated and strategic approach to implement active learning led to positive changes in student attitudes to their learning and associated behaviours.

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KW - Attendance

KW - Engagement

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KW - Student perception

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JO - Pharmacy Education

JF - Pharmacy Education

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