Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants

Title

Creating a Blended Cooperative Learning Classroom

Department

Honors College

College

Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies

Disciplines

Education

Abstract

Research shows that teaching strategies such as process-oriented guided inquiry produce superior learning outcomes in post-secondary education. Yet, students often report being confused by and having negative attitudes toward guided inquiry, leading to a lack of student engagement among other problems. Precious class time is consumed as the instructor attempts to deal with student confusion and negativity in what is already a time-consuming instructional process. This presentation describes the implementation of a blended guided-inquiry course in chemistry for non-science Honors majors that is intended to address some of the problems. Process-oriented guided-inquiry group projects and mentoring by the instructor are conducted during class time, and pre-recorded mini-presentations of 10- to 20-mintue duration, designed to orient and engage students, are assigned as preliminary homework. Blended instruction proves to be less confusing and more economical with time than guided-inquiry instruction alone. Indeed, sufficient time was conserved that a significant expansion of subject matter was allowed. A comparison of exam results and other assessment measures, comparing the intervention group with control groups, shows that no perceptible adverse effects on student performance occurred, and student engagement, as determined with a standard survey, was very high. The approach described is broadly applicable to teaching in any discipline.

Conference Name

Higher Education Teaching and Learning (HETL) Association conference

Conference Location

U. Central Florida, Orlando, FL

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