An Intervention-Based Active Learning Strategy Employing Principles of Cognitive Psychology Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The objective of this research is to investigate an intervention-based active learning strategy incorporating the principles of cognitive psychology to enhance student learning in an undergraduate engineering mathematics course. In this strategy, the classroom was completely flipped, i.e., the students were assigned weekly reading assignments and had to take a quiz before joining the classroom. Inside the classroom, the lectures were replaced with group-problem solving sessions. Specifically, students were divided into small groups where they collectively solved worksheets containing several problems. By design, the worksheets integrated the key principles of cognitive science in learning that are conducive to long term retention of the topics, namely, reinforcement, spacing and instant feedback. Subsequently, the students were given take-home practice problem sets to master the concepts. On comparing the student learning outcomes from this strategy with the outcomes from the traditional lecturing approach, it was found that the students indulging in the carefully designed active learning environment performed better. It can be concluded that the improved student learning and retention can be attributed to the combination of active learning and the effective intervention strategy employed in the course