Student-Led Active Learning Workshops: Increasing Student Retention, Decreasing Time to Graduation and Providing High- Performing Students with Opportunities to Develop Coaching Skills

Many engineering students come to upper-division courses with inadequate problem solving skills. As a result, they often repeat core courses, thus increasing their time to graduation. One approach that had been tried in the past was to review material in class and offer retake exams. This approach proved both inefficient and ineffective, as student performance on retake exams was often as poor as it was on the original test. In Fall 2011 a new approach was introduced. Students are now required to attend a workshop before retaking a test. Officers of the student chapter of the aerospace engineering honor society lead the workshops. These highly performing students have a good grasp of the material and are trained to conduct the workshops using active learning strategies. The workshops have resulted in significant improvement of student test scores, while at the same time providing opportunities for student leaders to sharpen their coaching skills.

Download Conference Paper