Presentation Title

Active Learning in the General Chemistry Pathway at Pasadena City College: Towards Increasing Diversity in STEM

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Jared Ashcroft

Start Date

23-11-2019 9:15 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 9:30 AM

Location

Markstein 209

Session

oral 1

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

education

Abstract

Active learning is the educational approach of enabling student success by (1) assigning preparatory work to be completed outside of the classroom in advance of each class and (2) engaging with students through group-based activities in the classroom. A meta-analysis of current research has shown that active learning strategies have been far more successful than traditional pedagogical methods in STEM education (Freeman et al, 2014). A study in 2018 by Hacisalihoglu, Stephens, Johnson, and Edington, suggested that this strategy works especially well for students in Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Another study by Gross, Pietri, Anderson, Moyano-Camihort, and Graham saw the most positive gains made by female students with lower GPAs (2015). Our research focuses on student success, progression and progression success through the General Chemistry Pathway at Pasadena City College (Chemistry 022, 1A and 1B), with a special focus on traditionally underrepresented students, the greatest proportion of which are Latino/a students. Data was collected from classes taught using variants of active learning and those taught with lecture. In both Chemistry 1A and 1B, Latino/a students, had a higher success and progression rate in the active learning classrooms than traditional classrooms. Overall, students taking the active learning option for both Chemistry 1A and 1B, had a success rate greater than 95%. A student survey of enjoyment and helpfulness ratings assigned to class activities supported these findings, with underrepresented minority and non-underrepresented minority students choosing a mixture of active learning activities as most helpful/most enjoyable. These results suggest that an active learning approach taking into account both student groups’ preferred learning styles may be most beneficial to all.

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Nov 23rd, 9:15 AM Nov 23rd, 9:30 AM

Active Learning in the General Chemistry Pathway at Pasadena City College: Towards Increasing Diversity in STEM

Markstein 209

Active learning is the educational approach of enabling student success by (1) assigning preparatory work to be completed outside of the classroom in advance of each class and (2) engaging with students through group-based activities in the classroom. A meta-analysis of current research has shown that active learning strategies have been far more successful than traditional pedagogical methods in STEM education (Freeman et al, 2014). A study in 2018 by Hacisalihoglu, Stephens, Johnson, and Edington, suggested that this strategy works especially well for students in Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Another study by Gross, Pietri, Anderson, Moyano-Camihort, and Graham saw the most positive gains made by female students with lower GPAs (2015). Our research focuses on student success, progression and progression success through the General Chemistry Pathway at Pasadena City College (Chemistry 022, 1A and 1B), with a special focus on traditionally underrepresented students, the greatest proportion of which are Latino/a students. Data was collected from classes taught using variants of active learning and those taught with lecture. In both Chemistry 1A and 1B, Latino/a students, had a higher success and progression rate in the active learning classrooms than traditional classrooms. Overall, students taking the active learning option for both Chemistry 1A and 1B, had a success rate greater than 95%. A student survey of enjoyment and helpfulness ratings assigned to class activities supported these findings, with underrepresented minority and non-underrepresented minority students choosing a mixture of active learning activities as most helpful/most enjoyable. These results suggest that an active learning approach taking into account both student groups’ preferred learning styles may be most beneficial to all.