Cognitive and Social Aspects of Engagement in Active Learning

Milo Koretsky


  This article reports analysis of students’ written reflections as to what helps them learn in an active learning environment. Eight hundred and twenty seven responses from 403 students in four different studio courses over two years were analyzed. An emergent coding scheme identified 55% of the responses as associated with cognitive processes (practice problem solving; connection to lecture; conceptual understanding) and 42% as social processes (small group interactions; guidance and help from the TA). Of the many responses that contained multiple codes, the most common coupling was between a cognitive and social process. These results are discussed in terms of social construction of knowledge and resulting instructional recommendations are provided.

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