The objective of this study is to perform a meta‐analysis of published data on the effects of active learning on Asian students' performance in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. This comprehensive meta-analysis study includes a systematic review of papers related to various active learning approaches and instructional methods such as collaborative learning, experiential learning, discovery-based, group-inquiry-based, problem-based and activity-based learning, specifically the effects these approaches have on Asian students' performance in STEM-related subjects. The Scopus electronic bibliographic database was searched with search terms and dates to identify and extract the relevant studies that met pre-stated inclusion criteria. A main criterion for inclusion of studies in this meta-analysis were Asian students’ exposure to any active learning intervention in STEM-related subjects. Studies that fulfilled the inclusion criteria were processed for data extraction. A total of 2810 full‐text peer reviewed papers published from 2000 to 2020 were analyzed and 38 papers met the inclusion criteria established for the meta-analysis. Effect sizes between experimental (n = 2230) and control groups (n = 2510) were calculated using means and standard deviations which were collected and summarized for a comprehensive and systematic review based on the compiled data. Using means and standard deviations from the studies, a moderately large effect size (ES = 0.6596) was detected. Analysis of the pre-post effect sizes demonstrated a significantly higher mean effect size thereby indicating a positive effect of active learning on Asian students' performance in STEM subjects. Findings from the meta-analysis in this study provide a comprehensive understanding of the effects of active learning on Asian students' performance in STEM subjects. Finally, the significance and relevance of these findings for future research directions are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This paper is part of a project funded by the University Grants Committee of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, entitled ”Developing Active Learning Pedagogies and Mobile Applications in University STEM Education” (PolyU2/T&L/16-19) with additional support from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
The authors would like to thank the University Grants Committee of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) for funding this project.
© 2022, De La Salle University.
- Active learning
- Control group
- Experimental group
- Student performance