William C. Beckerson, Jennifer O. Anderson, John D. Perpich, and Debbie Yoder-Himes
Journal of College Science Teaching, 2020: Volume 49, Number 3, 47-57
Abstract: With calls to reassess higher education teaching methods, active learning practices have quickly become a popular alternative to traditional lectures, especially in STEM courses that traditionally rely heavily on large-lecture formats. In this regard, active learning environments stand to better prepare students for life after college; however, student personality may play a major role in how students perform in these settings. Our research examines the effect that active learning environments have on the performance of individuals by a variety of personality types, determined by the IPIP Big Five Measures of Personality. Although our research found a trend toward improved tests scores overall for those who attended group-based learning sessions in an active learning environment, we found statistically significant differences between how introverts and extroverts perform on exam questions pertaining specifically to material covered in the group- based active learning sessions. This research highlights that class composition of personality plays an important role in how active learning should be implemented and provides evidence that active learning is not a one-size-fits-all practice.