Distinguished Speaker Seminar Nov 12 – Professor Maura Borrego

Time & Date: 1:00PM Nov 12, 2021

Location: Zoom Link Passcode: 209579



Research has shown that active learning promotes student learning and increases retention rates of engineering undergraduates. Yet instructors are reluctant to change their teaching approaches for several reasons, including a fear of student resistance to active learning and low course evaluations. Recent research has investigated a variety of factors that influence students’ reactions to active learning. The good news is that strategies instructors employ when explaining and facilitating active learning in their classes are more influential than characteristics of the students, the course, or the instructor and are effective across a range of individual and group-based active learning approaches. This seminar will present the results of this research on reducing student resistance to active learning. It is based on a national study of 1,051 students who completed the Student Response to Instructional Practices (StRIP) survey in 18 introductory engineering courses where active learning was implemented. Follow-up interviews with the instructors of these courses provide more detail about specific strategies for reducing student resistance to active learning, and the variety of ways that instructors implement them in different engineering courses. These findings are further validated by a systematic literature review, which extends the findings to other STEM disciplines and identifies strategies that move outside the classroom to course planning and instructor persistence over several semesters.


Maura Borrego is Director of the Center for Engineering Education and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and STEM Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Borrego is a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education and a Senior Associate Editor for Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. She previously served as Deputy Editor for Journal of Engineering Education, a Program Director at the National Science Foundation, on the board of the American Society for Engineering Education, and as an associate dean and director of interdisciplinary graduate programs. Her research awards include U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), an NSF CAREER award, and two outstanding publication awards from the American Educational Research Association for her journal articles. All of Dr. Borrego’s degrees are in Materials Science and Engineering.