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Changing classroom designs: Easy; Changing instructors' pedagogies: Not so easy... Documents

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Changing classroom designs: Easy; Changing instructors' pedagogies: Not so easy... 

written by Nathaniel Lasry, Elizabeth Charles, Chris Whittaker, Helena Dedic, and Steven Rosenfield

Technology-rich student-centered classrooms such as SCALE-UP and TEAL are designed to actively engage students. We examine what happens when instructors adopt the classroom but not the pedagogy that goes with it. We measure the effect of using socio-technological spaces on students' conceptual change and compare learning gains made in groups using different pedagogies (active learning vs. conventional instruction). We also correlate instructors' self-reported instructional approach (teacher-centered, student-centered) with their classes' normalized FCI gains. We find that technology-rich spaces are only effective when implemented with studentcentered active pedagogies. In their absence, the technology-rich classroom is not significantly different from conventional teacher-centered classrooms. We also find that instructors' self-reported perception of studentcenteredness accounts for a large fraction of the variance (r2=0.83) in their class' average normalized gain. Adopting student-centered pedagogies appears to be a necessary condition for the effective use of technology-rich spaces. However, adopting a new pedagogy seems more difficult than adopting new technology.

Published January 24, 2013
Last Modified June 27, 2013