Rutledge, M. L., & Lampley, S. A. (2017, July-August). Can a diversified instructional approach featuring active learning improve biology students’ attitudes toward general education? Journal of College Science Teaching, 46(6), 20+. Retrieved from

Written by two Biology teachers, this article discusses the impact of the implementation of active learning exercises in a college classroom composed of students, mostly Freshman, who are taking Biology as part of their general education requirements as opposed to their major. The instructors developed the active learning exercises to encourage student engagement and enhance the critical thinking skills they would need to be successful in the class. The instructors identified student attitudes about general education as one of the impediments in their learning and hoped that the active learning exercises might change some of these perceptions about general education courses at the University. In the end, the active learning exercises promoted an improved understanding of the goals of general education courses, but students retained the same resistance to viewing general education classes as “a vital part of a university education.” The active learning exercises are listed in a table. Each is a real world application/class exercise founded upon a concept/process from biology. There was no data offered in terms of the effect of this approach on student retention or outcomes in the class.  [annotated by Jeff Sanger, GCC English Faculty]

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