Why Does Peer Instruction Improve Student Satisfaction More than Student Performance? A Randomized Experiment

International Review of Economics Education, forthcoming https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iree.2018.10.001

27 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2015 Last revised: 19 Dec 2018

See all articles by Pilar Alcalde

Pilar Alcalde

Universidad de los Andes, Chile

Juan C. Nagel

Universidad de los Andes, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales; ApplEcon, LLC

Date Written: September 24, 2018

Abstract

Studies consistently show that active learning improves student satisfaction, but results on achievement are less conclusive. We address this puzzle by comparing an active learning classroom that employs peer instruction with a traditional lecture using an experimental design in a Chilean Economics and Business school. Students in the treatment group are more satisfied with the course and have better grades, but the treatment effect varies as the semester progresses: small at the beginning, larger in the middle, and nonexistent in the final exam. Our hypothesis is that the treatment changed student effort. Students performed better under peer instruction and may have decided to decrease their effort toward the end of the semester. We present evidence consistent with this hypothesis. Additionally, students in the treatment group perceived that the most important part of the treatment was the greater interaction with the professor, and they reported studying less with their peers outside of class.

Keywords: Active learning, peer instruction, classroom experiments, course performance, innovation in teaching.

JEL Classification: A20, C21, C90

Suggested Citation

Alcalde, Pilar and Nagel, Juan C., Why Does Peer Instruction Improve Student Satisfaction More than Student Performance? A Randomized Experiment (September 24, 2018). International Review of Economics Education, forthcoming https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iree.2018.10.001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2687217 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2687217

Pilar Alcalde

Universidad de los Andes, Chile ( email )

Monsenor Alvaro del Portillo 12.455, Las Condes
Santiago
Chile
+562 26181626 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/palcaldee

Juan C. Nagel (Contact Author)

Universidad de los Andes, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales ( email )

Chile

ApplEcon, LLC ( email )

617 East Huron Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
United States
(734) 214-2235 (Phone)

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