EFFECTIVENESS OF VARIOUS TEACHING METHODS IN AN UNDERGRADUATE COURSE: STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF LEARNING VS. TEST RESULTS FOR A GROUP PROJECT ASSIGNMENT
Loyola College in Maryland (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
Abstract:In a course dedicated to teaching speech sound acoustics to undergraduate students, the instructor employed various teaching methods throughout the semester. These methods included instructor lectures, text reading assignments, video viewing, class discussions, oral presentations, peer presentations, and a group project. After ten years teaching the same course, the instructor surveyed all former students regarding perceived effectiveness of the various teaching methods. The majority of student survey respondents ranked instructor lectures as the teaching method that had the greatest effect on initial learning of the course, on retention and memory of the material, and on enthusiasm for the course topic. Student survey respondents ranked the group project as the second most effective teaching method across all areas of learning. However, student group work requires one caveat; that is, the need for students to accept responsibility for their own learning when working in groups. As another measure of the effectiveness of group project work to individual learning, each student's score on the group project was compared to their score on a final examination testing similar application of learned concepts. This paper presents the findings of the survey study. Further, the paper discusses the design and implementation of successful group projects. Finally, this paper weighs the utility of a group project to enhance learning and retention of information against the inequities potentially present in student group work.
Keywords: group projects, collaborative learning, teaching methods, undergraduate education.