Transforming Large Lectures Through Small Group Active Learning Sessions

Title Transforming Large Lectures Through Small Group Active Learning Sessions
Faculty/College/Unit Arts
Status Completed
Duration 2 Year
Initiation 06/01/2015
Completion 04/01/2017
Funding Details
Year 1: Project Year Year 1
Year 1: Funding Year 2015/2016
Year 1: Project Type Small TLEF
Year 1: Principal Investigator Elizabeth Dunn
Year 1: Funded Amount 8,495
Year 1: Team Members

Catherine Rawn, Department of Psychology

Year 1: Summary

As the largest department in the Faculty of Arts (in terms of undergraduate majors), the Department of Psychology relies heavily on traditional large-lecture courses, even for upper-level students. Thus, we are proposing to test the value of transforming our third-year lecture classes by replacing a subset of the lectures with Small Group Active Learning (SGAL) sessions. During these sessions, rather than attending lecture, students will meet in smaller groups led by a TA, where they will have the opportunity to harness and apply what they’re learning—often outside the classroom. In Year 1, we will test this program in our third-year Social Psychology course (Psyc 308). We will then use the data collected as part of the evaluation component to improve on this program and build a model that can be adopted in upper-level courses across our curriculum (e.g., Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology).

Year 2: Project Year Year 2
Year 2: Funding Year 2016/2017
Year 2: Project Type Small TLEF
Year 2: Principal Investigator Elizabeth Dunn
Year 2: Funded Amount 16,230
Year 2: Team Members

Catherine Rawn, Department of Psychology

Year 2: Summary

As the largest department in the Faculty of Arts (in terms of undergraduate majors), the Department of Psychology relies heavily on traditional large-lecture courses, even for upper-level students. Thus, we are proposing to test the value of transforming our third-year lecture classes by replacing a subset of the lectures with Small Group Active Learning (SGAL) sessions. During these sessions, rather than attending lecture, students will meet in smaller groups led by a TA, where they will have the opportunity to harness and apply what they’re learning— often outside the classroom. Currently, in Year 1 (2015-2016), we are conducting an initial test of this program in our third-year Social Psychology course (Psyc 308). In Year 2 (2016-2017), we will use the data collected as part of the evaluation component to (a) optimize this model in Psyc 308, (b) extend this model to another course, Brain Dysfunction and Recovery (Psyc 301) and (c) build a model that can be adopted in upper-level courses across our curriculum.

Project Report 2016-Dunn-Final-WEB.pdf