Lectures of the 21st century: Hispanic students' perceptions of active learning
Garcia, Cihtlalli Guadalupe
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With the current movement towards active engagement in higher education, research on student perception of teaching strategies can shed light into how teaching practices are received. While there is abundant research on student perception of active learning, little research has focused on how Hispanic students perceive this form of pedagogy. The primary purpose of this study is to examine how Hispanic students respond to active learning classrooms. This descriptive study will provide initial findings of students’ responses to active learning, enabling institutions and instructors to understand challenges and address barriers to improve the graduation rates of Hispanic students. A total of 417 participants at a Hispanic serving institution completed a self-report survey that assessed students’ response to activities in active learning classrooms and instructors’ effectiveness. Results from both quantitative and qualitative measures showed that the majority of this sample of Hispanic students responded favorably to active learning courses and to the instructor. Students perceived activities, such as collaborative learning and quizzes, as helpful in their learning. Furthermore, gender differences were found in this study; female students responded with more positive attitudes than male students towards their active learning instructor. Although there was a strong positive feedback towards the active learning course, results show that a portion of students’ struggled with activities in the classroom. Results indicated that unlike previous research, this sample of Hispanic students responded favorably towards active learning; consistent with previous studies, however, resistance can be observed as instructors transfer the responsibility of learning to the students. The main findings of this study provide ideas for future venues of research on Hispanic students in higher education to explore find best teaching practices and increase graduation rates among Hispanic students.