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Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics

Overview of attention for article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, May 2014
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (99th percentile)

Citations

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3270 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
6638 Mendeley
citeulike
20 CiteULike
Title
Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics
Published in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, May 2014
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1319030111
Pubmed ID
Authors

S. Freeman, S. L. Eddy, M. McDonough, M. K. Smith, N. Okoroafor, H. Jordt, M. P. Wenderoth

Abstract

To test the hypothesis that lecturing maximizes learning and course performance, we metaanalyzed 225 studies that reported data on examination scores or failure rates when comparing student performance in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses under traditional lecturing versus active learning. The effect sizes indicate that on average, student performance on examinations and concept inventories increased by 0.47 SDs under active learning (n = 158 studies), and that the odds ratio for failing was 1.95 under traditional lecturing (n = 67 studies). These results indicate that average examination scores improved by about 6% in active learning sections, and that students in classes with traditional lecturing were 1.5 times more likely to fail than were students in classes with active learning. Heterogeneity analyses indicated that both results hold across the STEM disciplines, that active learning increases scores on concept inventories more than on course examinations, and that active learning appears effective across all class sizes--although the greatest effects are in small (n ≤ 50) classes. Trim and fill analyses and fail-safe n calculations suggest that the results are not due to publication bias. The results also appear robust to variation in the methodological rigor of the included studies, based on the quality of controls over student quality and instructor identity. This is the largest and most comprehensive metaanalysis of undergraduate STEM education published to date. The results raise questions about the continued use of traditional lecturing as a control in research studies, and support active learning as the preferred, empirically validated teaching practice in regular classrooms.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 2,208 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 6,638 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 166 3%
United Kingdom 26 <1%
Brazil 17 <1%
Canada 12 <1%
Australia 9 <1%
Netherlands 9 <1%
Norway 5 <1%
Germany 5 <1%
Spain 5 <1%
Other 50 <1%
Unknown 6334 95%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 1356 20%
Researcher 825 12%
Student > Master 740 11%
Student > Bachelor 585 9%
Professor > Associate Professor 462 7%
Other 1864 28%
Unknown 806 12%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Social Sciences 892 13%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 825 12%
Engineering 521 8%
Chemistry 374 6%
Medicine and Dentistry 338 5%
Other 2579 39%
Unknown 1109 17%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 2885. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 01 December 2021.
All research outputs
#1,491
of 19,553,318 outputs
Outputs from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#51
of 92,982 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#6
of 201,034 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#3
of 973 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 19,553,318 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 92,982 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 33.3. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 201,034 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 973 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.