Thursday, October 22, 2009

Trends in teaching continue to focus on group work, peer-editing and multiple drafts

Although my own experience is that students don't always like group work or peer-feedback exercises (the former because of the "free-rider" effect and the latter because they haven't yet developed the judgment that enables them to evaluate another's work), their professors, at least, continue to move towards a "student-centered" approach to learning.   That's according to a recent UCLA survey of more than 22,000 college students at 372 schools nationwide.

Here are the results:

  2005 2008
Selected teaching methods
Cooperative learning (small groups of students) 48% 59%
Using real-life problems* n/a 56%
Group projects 33% 36%
Multiple drafts of written work 25% 25%
Student evaluations of one another’s work 16% 24%
Reflective writing/journaling 18% 22%
Electronic quizzes with immediate feedback in class* n/a 7%
Extensive lecturing (not student-centered) 55% 46%
Selected examination methods
Short-answer exams 37% 46%
Term and research papers 35% 44%
Multiple-choice exams 32% 33%
Grading on a curve 19%


* Not asked in the 2005 survey
Note: The figures are based on survey responses of 22,562 faculty members at 372 four-year colleges and universities nationwide. The survey was conducted in the fall and winter of 2007-8 and covered full-time faculty members who spent at least part of their time teaching undergraduates. The figures were statistically adjusted to represent the total population of full-time faculty members at four-year institutions. Percentages are rounded.

Source: "The American College Teacher: National Norms for the 2007-8 HERI Faculty Survey," University of California at Los Angeles Higher Education Research Institute.

You can read the rest in the Chronicle of Higher Ed found here.

I am the scholarship dude.


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