What is the Impact of In-Class Active Learning Techniques? A Meta Analysis of the Existing Literature
15 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 8 Sep 2010
Date Written: 2010
In this paper I examine the “lessons” and “best practices” from the most recent literature on the effectiveness of classroom techniques that have sought to promote “active student learning” (including simulations, problem based learning, team based learning, interactive classroom technologies) in the political science classroom. Reviewing 134 articles that specifically examine the effectiveness of active learning techniques from PS, International Studies Perspectives, and the Journal of Political Science Education, I find that, although the most commonly used technique to promote active learning is the in class simulation (at least as reported in the literature), the evidence of the effectiveness of simulations is decidedly mixed. Further, their utility in large classroom environments is limited. The paper also explores other alternatives to simulations that are used in other fields.
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