University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Physics Colloquium

Friday, April 3, 2015
4:00pm – 5:00pm

Storrs Campus
Gant Science Complex, Room PB-38

Professor Robert Beichner, Department of Physics, North Carolina State University

“The Student-Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies (SCALE-UP) Project”

How do you keep a classroom of 100 or more undergraduates actively learning? Can students practice communication and teamwork skills in a large class? How do you boost the performance of underrepresented groups? Education research indicates that students should collaborate on interesting tasks and be deeply involved with the material they are studying. SCALE-UP promotes active learning in a redesigned classroom for 100+ students. (Smaller classes benefit even more.) Classtime is spent primarily on “tangibles,” “visibles," and “ponderables” -- hands-on activities, simulations, and interesting questions.

Hundreds of hours of classroom video and audio recordings, transcripts of numerous interviews and focus groups, data from conceptual learning assessments, and collected portfolios of student work are part of our rigorous assessment effort. We have data comparing more than 20,000 students at multiple institutions. Our findings can be summarized as the following: Ability to solve problems is improved; Conceptual understanding is increased; Attitudes are improved; Failure rates are drastically reduced, especially for women and minorities; Performance in later courses is enhanced.

The talk will discuss the classroom environment, describe some of the activities, and review the findings of studies of learning in various SCALE-UP settings.

Refreshments will be prior to the talk at 3:30 p.m. In the Gant Complex, Physics Library, Room P-103.


Dawn Rawlinson, 486-4916,

Physics Department (primary)

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