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Int J STEM Educ ; 5(1): 20, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30631710


Background: Productive learning processes and good learning outcomes can be attained by applying the basic elements of active learning. The basic elements include fostering discussions and disputations, facing alternative conceptions, and focusing on conceptual understanding. However, in the face of poor course retention and high dropout rates, even learning outcomes can become of secondary importance. To address these challenges, we developed a research-based instructional strategy, the primetime learning model. We devised the model by organizing the basic elements of active learning into a theory-based four-step study process. The model is based on collaborative and technology-enhanced learning, on versatile formative assessment without a final exam, and on genuine teacher presence through intimate meetings between students and teachers. Results: We piloted the model in two university physics courses on thermodynamics and optics and observed persistent student activity, improved retention, and good learning outcomes. Feedback suggested that most students were satisfied with the learning experience. Conclusions: The model suits particularly well for courses that, in addition to the teaching subject itself, focus on teaching balanced study habits and strengthening social integration. By its very construction, it also helps the propagation of research-based instructional strategies. Although the model does contain challenges, it represents a generic framework for learning and teaching that is flexible for further development and applicable to many subjects and levels.