Dataset Information


How do undergraduates cope with anxiety resulting from active learning practices in introductory biology?

ABSTRACT: Active learning pedagogies decrease failure rates in undergraduate introductory biology courses, but these practices also cause anxiety for some students. Classroom anxiety can impact student learning and has been associated with decreased student retention in the major, but little is known about how students cope with anxiety caused by active learning practices. In this study, we investigated student coping strategies for various types of active learning (clickers, volunteering to answer a question, cold calling, and group work) that were used in 13 introductory Biology courses at a large public university in 2016-2017. A survey asked students to rate their anxiety regarding the four active learning practices and over half of the students explained the coping strategies they used to manage their active learning anxieties. Coping responses from 880 students were sorted into pre-defined categories of coping strategies: problem solving, information seeking, self-reliance, support seeking, accommodation, helplessness, escape, delegation, and isolation. We found that a different category of coping was dominant for each type of active learning. The dominant coping strategies for anxiety associated with clickers, cold calling, and group work were adaptive coping strategies of information seeking, self-reliance, and support-seeking, respectively. The dominant coping strategy for volunteering to answer a question was escape, which is a maladaptive strategy. This study provides a detailed exploration of student self-reported coping in response to active learning practices and suggests several areas that could be foci for future psychosocial interventions to bolster student regulation of their emotions in response to these new classroom practices.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC7423088 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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