I often talk to people who are skeptical about the effectiveness of teaching methods that focus on active learning, especially in comparison to traditional lectures. The following sources present evidence that active learning approaches do indeed improve student outcomes. They represent just a tiny fraction of the studies supporting active learning in higher ed. In addition, the video below describes how Cornell University's Active Learning Initiative approaches these issues.
Peer Reviewed Articles
(These articles may require academic library subscriptions to view.)
Deslauriers, Louis, Logan S. McCarty, Kelly Miller, Kristina Callaghan, and Greg Kestin. 2019. “Measuring Actual Learning versus Feeling of Learning in Response to Being Actively Engaged in the Classroom.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116(39):19251–57. doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1821936116
Freeman, Scott, Sarah L. Eddy, Miles McDonough, Michelle K. Smith, Nnadozie Okoroafor, Hannah Jordt, and Mary Pat Wenderoth. “Active Learning Increases Student Performance in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111, no. 23 (June 10, 2014): 8410–15. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1319030111.
Holmes, N. G., Carl E. Wieman, and D. A. Bonn. “Teaching Critical Thinking.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112, no. 36 (September 8, 2015): 11199–204. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1505329112.
Smith, M.K., W.B. Wood, K. Krauter, and J.K. Knight. “Combining Peer Discussion with Instructor Explanation Increases Student Learning from In-Class Concept Questions.” CBE Life Sciences Education 10, no. 1 (March 1, 2011): 55–63. https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.10-08-0101.
Wineburg, Sam, Mark Smith, and Joel Breakstone. “What Is Learned in College History Classes?” Journal of American History 104, no. 4 (March 1, 2018): 983–93. https://doi.org/10.1093/jahist/jax434.