Active learning engagement classrooms at the University of Central Missouri : practical strategies to implement and sustain utilization of active learning in higher education using technology
The tradition of lecturing in higher education is synonymous to teaching (Morrison, 2014). Fortunately, those in higher education today are pushing for viable alternatives such as active learning because several studies have shown the positive impact on student performance, student achievement, and other learning goals (Auerbach and Andrews, 2018; Beichner, 2014; Cattaneo, 2017; Eddy, Converse, Wenderoth, and Schinske, 2015; Freeman, Eddy, McDonough, Smith, Okoroafor, Jordt, and Wenderoth, 2014; Heim and Holt, 2018; Lumpkin, Achen, and Dodd, 2015; Morrison, 2014). Additional research should therefore focus on topics besides whether active learning works. This qualitative study aims to add to the literature of the next generation of active learning research by exploring faculty and student perceptions of active learning engagement classrooms (ALECs), actions that a university can take to encourage the use of active learning engagement classrooms, and support for faculty transitioning from traditional lecturing to active learning using technology. Focus group meetings and interviews were conducted with 44 faculty, staff, and student participants at the University of Central Missouri. While mostly positive, faculty and students had mixed reviews about the ALEC experience. Also, most participants pointed to the need for training to support the sustained utilization of the ALECs. The qualitative findings are discussed and connected to the theoretical frameworks guiding this study. The paper concludes with three phases of recommendations for practice and ideas for future research.
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