Paper No. 25-8
Presentation Time: 3:40 PM
QUANTITATIVELY ASSESSING THE INFLUENCE OF THE ‘THINK-PAIR-SHARE’ ACTIVE LEARNING PEDAGOGICAL APPROACH ON CONTENT KNOWLEDGE AND SELF-CONFIDENCE OF STUDENTS IN AN INTRODUCTORY LEVEL GEOLOGY COURSE
Quantitative assessments of the effectiveness of the ‘think-pair-share’ active learning pedagogical approach in improving content knowledge and self-confidence of students in introductory level Geology courses are not common in the geosciences literature. In this study, an audience response system (i.e., clicker system) was used to assess the influence of think-pair-share on content knowledge and self-confidence of 82 students representing diverse backgrounds and disciplines that were enrolled in an introduction to Geology course at a large public research university. Over 12-week period, at least one think-pair-share activity was held during each class period. For each think-pair-share activity, students were asked to use the clickers to respond to two questions, one that focused on content knowledge and the other that focused on self-confidence. After answering this first set of questions, the students were asked to discuss the content questions before being asked to use the clickers to answer the same content and self-confidence questions again. The pre- and post-test results were analyzed using bar charts, boxplots, and the Mann-Whitney test. The results indicate that the number of students that correctly answered each content question increased after engaging in a think-pair-share activity. The proportion of correct responses increased substantially from 55% in the pre-test to 75% in the post-test. Furthermore, the confidence of students also increases after the active learning opportunity. Over 90% of students that indicated very high confidence in their answers correctly answered the concept question. The results of this study suggest that the level of confidence of students increases with the quality of results after taking part in think-pair-share activities. This study shows quantitatively that think-pair-share activities are useful for improving content knowledge and confidence for students in introductory level courses in the geosciences.