Taking anxiety out of active learning

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Science  27 Jul 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6400, pp. 376
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6400.376-b

As STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education becomes more centered on active learning practices, what happens to students' anxiety levels? Specifically, what aspects of evaluative active learning practices cause student anxiety to increase or decrease? After measuring students' baseline anxiety levels, Cooper et al. conducted semi-structured interviews to explore how students' anxiety levels were altered in an active learning classroom. Results show that the way that the active learning activity is implemented and the extent to which students perceive the activity to be beneficial influence its effect on their anxiety. The authors encourage instructors to consider student anxiety when implementing active learning.

Int. J. STEM Educ. 10.1186/s40594-018-0123-6 (2018).

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