Active University Teaching and Engaged Student Learning: A Mixed Methods Approach

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Celeste A. Wheat
Yan Sun
Jessica C. Wedgworth
Martha M. Hocutt

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to examine how learning space design and implementation of an active learning pedagogy based on the 5E Instructional Model influence university faculty’s teaching practices and students’ engagement. Faculty Fellows were recruited from a public, medium-sized university in the United States to teach courses, typically taught in a traditional classroom setting, in a new Active Learning Center (ALC) classroom.  The classroom was funded by a Steelcase® Education Active Learning Center Grant that provided innovative and dynamic classroom furnishings and technology that allowed mobility and flexibility for both instructors and students.  Quantitative and qualitative data were collected concurrently in this study.  The quantitative analysis results indicated that the ALC learning experience significantly improved students’ class participation and cognitive attentiveness, but had no effect on improving their meaningful processing of new information.  The qualitative analysis results, while providing new insights into the quantitative findings, revealed the faculty fellows’ changes and weaknesses in teaching practices and the mechanism of the ALC in supporting active learning. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed. 

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How to Cite
Wheat, C., Sun, Y., Wedgworth, J., & Hocutt, M. (2018). Active University Teaching and Engaged Student Learning: A Mixed Methods Approach. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 18(4). https://doi.org/10.14434/josotl.v18i4.22784
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Articles
Author Biographies

Celeste A. Wheat, The University of West Alabama

Dr. Celeste A. Wheat is an Assistant Professor of Student Affairs at the University of West Alabama. She also serves as the Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

Yan Sun, Mississippi State University

Dr. Yan Sun is an Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology at Mississippi State University.

Jessica C. Wedgworth, University of West Alabama

Dr. Jessica C. Wedgworth is the Director of Research Integrity at the University of West Alabama.

Martha M. Hocutt, University of West Alabama

Dr. Martha M. Hocutt is a Professor of Instructional Technology at the University of West Alabama.