#Study: How smooth-talking professors can lull students into thinking they’ve learned more than they have

I am focused on learning, I am not entirely convinced what constitutes the “right way” to assess learning. I think it could related to a recall of key concepts. Keeping the class interactively engaged is another idea.

The study, involving Harvard University undergraduates in large, introductory physics classes, compared students’ self reports about what they’d learned with what they’d actually learned, as determined by a multiple choice tests. Students were taught using exactly the same course materials — a key control that many other studies comparing active versus passive learning have failed to establish. But one group learned via active instruction methods for a week at the end of the semester and the other learned via lectures from experienced and well-regarded instructors.

A “crucial difference” between the two groups, according to the study, was whether students “were told directly how to solve each problem or were first asked to try to solve the problems themselves in small groups.”

At the end of the course, students were given both “feeling of learning” and “tests of learning” assessments (the latter consisted of two, low-stakes quizzes with 12 multiple choice questions each). All of the “feeling” responses showed a consistent student preference for the passive lecture environment while scores on the learning tests — on statics and fluids — were significantly higher in the active classroom.

via Study: How smooth-talking professors can lull students into thinking they’ve learned more than they have