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Deseret News: Why College Students Do Better When the Teacher Stops Lecturing

by Davidson College

Malcolm CampbellResearch shows that college students perform better in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) courses when they're learning actively. A recent study published by the National Academy of Sciences found that failure rates dropped from 34 to 22 percent when teaching methods included small group discussions, randomly posed questions and clicker quizzes, rather than pure lectures.

Professor of Biology Malcolm Campbell cites examples of past Davidson students who initially disliked the lecture and memorization-based teaching style of biology courses, but then discovered the importance of asking questions. He said, "If we want people to stay in STEM and have thinkers, people who can troubleshoot, then if memorization is their experience we are actually selecting against the people who could thrive in the discipline."

Read the Deseret News article.