Faculty Lunch: Are Students’ Perceptions of Teaching and Learning always Valid? The Role of (Dis)fluency in Passive and Active Learning


Monday, November 18, 2019, 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Science Center Room 418D

Logan McCarty

Logan McCarty, Director of Physical Sciences Education and Lecturer on Physics, Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Louis Deslauriers

Louis Deslauriers, Director of Science Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Senior Preceptor on Physics

Despite overwhelming evidence that students learn more when they are actively engaged in the classroom than they do in a passive lecture environment, most instructors still use traditional methods, at least in large-enrollment college STEM courses (see Stains et. al., Science 2018). Why do these methods of instruction persist? And how are these methods of instruction, traditional lecturing and active learning, even defined? Louis Deslauriers (Director of Science Teaching and Learning in FAS and Senior Preceptor on Physics) and Logan McCarty (Director of Science Education and Lecturer on Physics, Chemistry and Chemical Biology) will draw on the findings in their recent PNAS article to discuss some of the obstacles hindering the wide adoption of research-based active learning methods and present various ways to mitigate these obstacles. In particular, they will discuss the interplay between fluency, feeling of learning, and actual learning. While Louis and Logan’s evidence hails particularly from the sciences, instructors from all fields will be able to learn something about helping students to appreciate why we teach in the ways that we do.

Highlights from Logan McCarty's and Louis Deslauriers' Lunch