Date of Award
Instructional Design and Development
Dr. James P. Van Heneghan
Evaluating the perceptions of active learning strategies is often seen from the perspective of the learners at the primary and secondary education levels. Additional data on beliefs of active learning in higher education such as of faculty members is needed. Active learning strategies are on the front line in education as a method to enhance student learning and foster twenty-first century skills. Developing twenty-first century skills is essential as the environment of the workplace is dynamic and evolving requiring individuals to rely on critical thinking and diverse application of their knowledge. Universities should continue to evolve to best prepare graduates for their endeavors postgraduation. Gaining an understanding on beliefs of active learning in higher education is beneficial as it provides insight into the faculty beliefs and how to foster a culture promoting twenty-first century skills. This study sought to understand faculty beliefs on active learning strategies and use of active learning in higher education. Faculty from three southeast universities were surveyed and a total of 210 participants completed the survey. Data was collected and analyzed to determine variables that were predictors of the frequency of use of active learning strategies and overall use of active learning strategies. The study found an overall high frequency of use of active learning strategies (M = 3.82, SD = .81), confidence in using active learning strategies (M = 3.95, SD = .84), and job satisfaction (M = 3.99, SD = .73). Correlations for frequency of use of active learning included beliefs on learning with a positive correlation of (.43), professional development with a positive correlation of (.34), and confidence in use of active learning strategies with a positive correlation of (.68). Correlations for overall use of active learning strategies included confidence in use with a positive correlation of (.38), beliefs with a positive correlation of (.36), and professional development with a positive correlation of (.26). Logistical barriers were found to be negatively correlated to both frequency of use (r =-.39) and overall use of active learning (r = -.34). The most prevalent barrier to the use of active learning was that faculty were not trained how to use these strategies. The most prevalent active learning strategy used was Socratic questioning. Regression analysis identified several predictor variables to the frequency of use of active learning strategies and for the overall use of presented active learning strategies. The predictor variables having a positive influence included beliefs on learning (a more constructivist viewpoint), professional development, and confidence in use of active learning. In addition, level of course undergraduate (lower-level courses indicating more active learning) positively predicted the frequency of use of active learning strategies. This study provided insight into the belief set of faculty members as well as the barriers seen by the faculty. The results from this study can provide universities insight to develop programs and provide support and training to their faculty to aid in their teaching and fostering of student learning. Several avenues for future research were identified and presented in the study to continue gaining insight into the beliefs of faculty member on active learning, barriers to active learning, and potential solutions to barriers.
Salter, Margaret Marie, "Faculty Beliefs on Active learning Strategies in Higher Education: Identification of Predictors for Use of Active Learning" (2023). Theses and Dissertations. 150.