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Report: Students in Interactive Class Are Nearly Twice as Engaged as Counterparts in Traditional Class.

A study lead by Louis Deslauriers, a post-doctoral researcher at UBC's Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative (CWSEI) has found that "interactive teaching methods significantly improved attendance and doubled both engagement and learning in a large physics class."

The study is mentioned by the Education Research Report.

"Students from the experimental class uniformly scored nearly twice as well in a test designed to determine their grasp of complex physics concepts (average score 74 per cent vs. 41 per cent, with random guessing producing a score of 23 per cent. Attendance in the interactive class also increased by 20 per cent during the experiment."

The source also quotes the study published this Friday 13, 2011 in Science:

"There is overwhelming evidence how much teaching pedagogy based on cognitive psychology and education research can improve science education," says co-author Carl Wieman (Associate Director for Science of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy). "This study further shows that we can achieve individual attention without individual interaction, and that even in a large class, the positive effects of a tutor or apprenticeship model can be achieved by using evidence-based teaching methods."

Two classes of an undergraduate physics course with approximately 270 students each were taught by highly-rated, professors with decades of experience.

"In addition to the objective measurements of engagement, attendance and test scores, we also surveyed students and found that these teaching methods generated a lot of excitement in class – which makes for a great learning environment," declared Deslauriers, lead author of the study.

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