Establishing a Collaborative Student-Centered Learning Environment

using the SCALE-UP Pedagogy

INDsigt ved Gerald Feldman, Department of Physics, Columbian College of Arts & Sciences 

Sprog: Oplægget holdes på engelsk
Language: The presentation will be in English

Gerald Feldman

The time-honored conventional lecture (“teaching by telling”) has been shown to be an ineffective mode of instruction for science classes.  To enhance critical thinking skills and develop problem-solving abilities, collaborative group-learning environments have proven to be far more effective.  In the SCALE-UP pedagogical approach, students sit at round tables in groups of three, where they carry out a variety of pencil/paper exercises (“ponderables”) using small whiteboards and perform hands-on activities such as demos and labs (“tangibles”) during class.  Formal lecture is reduced to a minimum and the instructor serves more as a “coach” to facilitate the academic exercises that the students perform. 

I will present an overview of the SCALE-UP concept and describe its implementation at George Washington University over the past 16 years. I will also discuss empirical data collected from assessments given to the SCALE-UP collaborative classes and the regular lecture classes at GWU in order to make a comparative study of the effectiveness of the two methodologies.  Finally, during the course of this interactive presentation, we will also engage in some of the classroom activities that are used in the SCALE-UP mode of instruction so that the participants can get an impression of what it feels like to be a “student” in this environment. 

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