Will my Student Evaluations Decrease if I Adopt an Active Learning Instructional Strategy?


College instructors are often afraid to use active learning instructional strategies because they fear that students may complain and/or give them lower evaluations of teaching. In this paper, we present data from a survey of 431 physics instructors who had attended the Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshop and who attempted to incorporate active learning into their introductory course. Nearly half of respondents (48%) felt that their student evaluations increased, one-third (32%) felt that their student evaluations had not been impacted, and one-fifth (20%) felt that their student evaluations decreased. Thus, contrary to common fears, for these instructors the most likely result from the incorporation of active learning was an increase in student evaluations.

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