The Learning Model at BYU-Idaho: Evidence from Course Evaluations
Jensen, Shawn Vernon
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The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the Learning Model (LM) compared with end-of-course ratings and student perceived learning per existing course evaluation data at Brigham Young University-Idaho. The LM is based on a broadly accepted pedagogy associated with improving student learning by way of increasing student engagement. Students are asked to take more responsibility for their own education and learning by using LM principles and applying related process steps. The three main process steps of the LM include: Prepare, Teach-One-Another, and Ponder/Prove. This study represents an attempt to measure the effects of implementation of the LM on course evaluations. The change in course ratings and student perceived learning scores were measured. The correlation between LM scores and perceived learning scores were likewise evaluated. LM scores were derived from the new evaluation instrument beginning Winter 2009 semester. These scores reflect the level of student and faculty participation of LM process steps for a given course. A total of eight semesters were used in this study. A comparison of means analysis was used to compare the changes between course evaluation score from the Fall 2007 semester to the Winter 2010 semester. Also a correlation matrix was employed to measure the relationship between LM scores and student perceived learning scores from the time the new evaluation instrument was implemented (Winter 2009) to the Winter 2010 semester. Once data were collected, disaggregated, and analyzed as mentioned, further investigation of breakout variables based on class size, faculty status, and types of courses were compared to one another. The findings suggest that course ratings significantly increased from the time the LM was introduced in the Fall 2007 to the Winter 2010 semester. Interestingly, student perceived learning scores did not seem to improve significantly over the same time period for the 33 courses identified in this study. Finally, conclusions and implications were inferred regarding the significance of applying the three LM process steps on course ratings and student perceived learning. The implications of these findings can have far reaching consequences as other institutions consider implementing and/or measuring a campus wide learning model.