“How reliable is current research on active learning?” asks CV contributor

July 4, 2016

“The scholarly literature on ‘active learning’ is almost shockingly positive,” writes David Gooblar for Chronicle Vitae, yet he warns readers that there is a key aspect of this research that is often overlooked. Gooblar argues that the existing research has been carried out almost entirely by educational researchers, or professionals who “having devoted their careers to studying education, tend to be particularly committed and well-informed teachers.” Goolbar questions whether the results from active learning field research would be as compelling if studies were performed on a more random sampling of PSE instructors. The author points to a 2011 randomized study that found no correlation between active learning and improved student outcomes, and concludes that “active learning, as a subject of scientific inquiry, is still a relatively young phenomenon.” Chronicle Vitae