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Wednesday, June 22 • 14:45 - 15:35
CON03.04 - Direct Instructions (DI) versus Productive Failure (PF) – Best practices for interactive in-class activities.

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Use of learning activities to engage students during face-to-face time is on the rise as many educators in all STEM disciplines are incorporating active learning strategies in the classroom. In-class activities however, are not all created equal. The learning activities need to ensure that they integrate the factors that not only engage students with the material but also motivate students to learn. Motivated learners are empowered learners who are more likely to stick with their learning. Our data from an introductory biology course taught at a research-intensive university suggest that student learning and long-term retention vary with the type of in-class activities students engage with in a topic-specific manner. In-class activities, based on the two design principles, Direct Instructions (DI) (Hattie. 2009), and Productive Failure (PF) (Kapur, 2015), were introduced and investigated in our study. Significant differences in student performance were documented for three topics used in the study. While better long-term retention, was observed for the in-class activity with the DI approach for one of the topics, student performance was better with the in-class activity that incorporated the PF approach for the other two topics. Best practices for practicality of implementation and promoting student motivation by these approaches will be discussed.

avatar for Sunita Chowrira

Sunita Chowrira

Senior Instructor, University of British Columbia
Senior Instructor, Department of Botany/Biology; Director Combined Major in Science, Faculty of Science, UBC
avatar for Karen Smith

Karen Smith

Lecturer, University of British Columbia - Dept. of Microbiology & Immunology
Lecturer, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Science, UBC

Wednesday June 22, 2016 14:45 - 15:35 EDT
UCC 56