Active versus passive teaching styles: An empirical study of student learning outcomes
Version of Record online: 1 DEC 2009
Copyright © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Human Resource Development Quarterly
Volume 20, Issue 4, pages 397–418, Winter 2009
How to Cite
Michel, N., Cater, J. J. and Varela, O. (2009), Active versus passive teaching styles: An empirical study of student learning outcomes. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 20: 397–418. doi: 10.1002/hrdq.20025
- Issue online: 1 DEC 2009
- Version of Record online: 1 DEC 2009
This study compares the impact of an active teaching approach and a traditional (or passive) teaching style on student cognitive outcomes. Across two sections of an introductory business course, one class was taught in an active or “nontraditional” manner, with a variety of active learning exercises. The second class was taught in a passive or “traditional” manner, emphasizing daily lectures. Although the active learning approach does not appear to have improved overall mastery of the subject, we did find evidence that active learning can lead to improved cognitive outcomes in class-specific materials. The discussion emphasizes the role of delivery style on learning outcomes.