How much structuring is beneficial with regard to examination scores ? A prospective study of three forms of active learning

Claus Reinhardt 1 Evelyne Rosen-Reinhardt 2
2 Théodile-CIREL
CIREL - Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche en Education de Lille (CIREL) - EA 4354 : EA1764
Abstract : Many studies have demonstrated a superiority of active learning forms compared with traditional lecture. However, there is still debate as to what degree structuring is necessary with regard to high exam outcomes. Seventy-five students from a premedical school were randomly attributed to an active lecture group, a cooperative group, or a collaborative learning group. The active lecture group received lectures with questions to resolve at the end of the lecture. At the same time, the cooperative group and the collaborative group had to work on a problem and prepare presentations for their answers. The collaborative group worked in a mostly self-directed manner; the cooperative group had to follow a time schedule. For the additional work of preparing the poster presentation, the collaborative and cooperative groups were allowed 50% more working time. In part 1, all groups worked on the citric acid cycle, and in part 2, all groups worked on molecular genetics. Collaborative groups had to work on tasks and prepare presentations for their answers. At the end of each part, all three groups were subjected to the same exam. Additionally, in the collaborative and cooperative groups, the presentations were marked. All evaluations were performed by two independent examiners. Exam results of the active lecture groups were highest. Results of the cooperative group were nonsignificantly lower than the active lecture group and significantly higher than the collaborative group. The presentation quality was nonsignificantly higher in the collaborative group compared with the cooperative group. This study shows that active lecturing produced the highest exam results, which significantly differed from collaborative learning results. The additional elaboration in the cooperative and collaborative learning setting yielded the high presentation quality but apparently could not contribute further to exam scores. Cooperative learning seems to be a good compromise if high exam and presentation scores are expected.
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Claus Reinhardt, Evelyne Rosen-Reinhardt. How much structuring is beneficial with regard to examination scores ? A prospective study of three forms of active learning . Advances in Physiology Education, American Physiological Society, 2012, 36 (3), pp.207-212. ⟨10.1152/advan.00108.2011⟩. ⟨hal-01592435⟩

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