Paper No. 89-8
Presentation Time: 10:15 AM
THE NATURE OF RESISTANCE: USING STUDENT COMMENTS AND LEARNING THEORY TO EASE THE TRANSITION TO ACTIVE LEARNING
Teaching approaches that ask students to become active participants in the creation of their own knowledge have been shown to result in a wide range of benefits, including decreased course failure rates, improved learning outcomes, and deeper student understanding of the relationships between the content and their own lives. Nonetheless, students who enroll in introductory geology courses because they are required to do so by college or degree program requirements, not because they have an interest in the subject, tend to resist changes to the traditional lecture model. We examine the results of an end-of-semester survey from the first semester of an introductory geology course transformation project at a large Midwestern public university. Using qualitative coding of the open-ended comments from the 80 student survey respondents, we identify common themes in student resistance or acceptance of active learning in this environment. By connecting these themes to established learning theories, we will point to specific considerations that instructors can attend to under these circumstances to improve student buy-in during the transition period.