Michelle Smith’s Research Featured in Article named Best of 2014 in Science

Science AAAS imageAccording to an article published in Science Online, titled “Lectures Aren’t Just Boring, They’re Ineffective, Too, Study Finds” active learning methods are significantly more successful compared to traditional stand-and-deliver lecture techniques. Michelle Smith, assistant professor of biology and research for the STEM Education Center at the University of Maine, coauthored the meta-analysis study that contributed to this article, which was listed the third most read by ScienceInsider in 2014


The article explains that although there is no single definition for active learning procedures, some successful approaches include answering questions by using clickers, calling on individuals randomly, or having students talk out concepts as a group in order to reach a consensus.


The paper, which appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, titled “Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics,” documented that active learning leads to increases in examination performance that would lead to a half letter grade increase in average grades.