Does Active Learning Increase Student Retention?


What are the effects of our choice to engage in active learning on the college’s overall health?

It is admissions review season for us at F&M. It is the period of time that we think about bigger picture effects of our teaching and learning models. As advocates of our method, we should be aware that our penchant for manipulation and game play just might play a role in overall student happiness, connectedness to the faculty, and retention at our home institutions. As I went in search of research that might support this inkling, I found a few sources like the work of John Ishiyama. But it appears uncommon to try and situate the active engagement in game play into this bigger picture of keeping butts in seats for the entire institution.

So it is your turn…. what hypotheses are available? How can we study this? Personally I could imagine a somewhat nuanced relationship between active learning in the classroom and its effects on connectedness to a campus identity. But conversely, I suspect that personal academic performance isn’t a conscious factor for student attachment to a particular place….

What do you think? Does active learning affect college retention? How so?

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