Summaries - Office of Research & Innovation
Back Evaluating Student-Centered Instruction in a Military Classroom
|Division||Research & Sponsored Programs|
|Department||Naval Research Program|
McDowell, Perry L.
Reeves, David E.
Kennedy, Meghan Q.
Khan, Rabia H.
|Sponsor||NPS Naval Research Program (Navy)|
|Summary||Basic research within the disciplines of neuroscience has generated significant knowledge on how people learn. Yet, these advances in learning are not widely or systematically incorporated into military education; learning is still largely based on the lecture models in use over the last half century. More recent efforts to incorporate technology into the classroom have improved information transfer, but are reaching their point of diminishing returns since based they are largely on the lecture model. In this model, the responsibility of learning is on the instructor. Shifting to student-centered collaborative learning (SCCL) shifts the burden of learning to the student: students are at the heart of the learning process and participate in actions to develop experiential skills. Experiential learning, inquiry, and exploration replace lectures and “transmission” of information. SCCL offers the opportunity create learning methodologies that generate more efficient content delivery and student generated acceptance structures, resulting in an increase in initial and sustained learner outcomes. A significant amount of research indicates that a complete revamping of classrooms to make them more amenable to SCCL could yield substantial improvements in both initial learning and long term retrieval of knowledge, skills, and abilities. Despite this, it has rarely been tried in a military setting, but one of the few times it was tried (at Ft. Huachuca), it delivered major improvements in students’ performance. We believe that these outcomes can be recreated elsewhere, and such results would serve as an exemplar for more of the military to move to this improved style of instruction. Our plan is to run an experiment in a SCCL at SLC and examine changes in learning outcomes. We will do this in stages. The first year, we will build an SCCL at NPS to get experience while we build content for the class at SLC. In our second year, we will build an SCCL and run the experiment at SLC.|
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