This material was originally developed by the PKAL
as part of its collaboration with the SERC Pedagogic Service.

SCALE-UP at Penn State-Erie

Developed by Bob Beichner (North Carolina State University) and Sharon Isern (Florida Gulf Coast University)

What is SCALE-UP?

SCALE-UP is a Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs. Carefully designed studio classrooms facilitate student teamwork and instructor movement between groups. There is no separate lab class and most "lectures" are class-wide discussions. Instead students make observations and work on engaging problems. This approach is effective with both small and large enrollment classes. Description of SCALE-UP layout

Why adopt SCALE-UP?

SCALE-UP has benefits over traditional approaches. Students gain a deeper understanding through hands-on activities. In the process, students practice team-building and communication skills that employers and accrediting agencies value. SCALE-UP can turn a large classroom into an intimate instructional setting.

Actually understanding physics requires actually studying physics. Barriers to studying physics in a traditional large lecture class include isolation of individual students in the crowd of strangers, a competitive atmosphere and little one-on-one contact with the instructor. SCALE-UP uses techniques of cooperative learning on a large scale for class sections with enrollments of about 100. Bringing the lecture and laboratory together in this technology-rich setting promotes active group learning within consistent groups for six hours each week. The grading system requires team work so that each person in the group - even the really bright ones - benefit from working together so that everyone learns.

(Project Kaleidoscope, 2007)

Lecturing to large introductory classes in vast tiered lecture halls can be an exhilarating experience as first, but loses much of the luster as students disengage, drop the class, fail the exams and complain that they can't understand the material as the professor presents it.

Regardless of how logically and clearly challenging concepts and techniques are presented in a lecture, there will be a large fraction of students who need more active engagement with the professor and their peers in the classroom than traditional lecture can provide to succeed.

SCALE-UP can provide the desired active learning environment even in large classes and improve success rates, student achievement and satisfaction.

(Project Kaleidoscope, 2007)

Reasons to adopt SCALE-UP?

How to implement SCALE-UP

Multiple elements contribute to an effective SCALE-UP classroom. Design the classroom layout to facilitate team interactions, based on enrollment and space. Offer faculty professional development opportunities that focus on team management and facilitation of active learning. Help faculty create instructional modules that address course objectives and deemphasize traditional lecture/lab approaches. How to Implement SCALE-UP (tips for designing, managing, and instructing)

Who uses SCALE-UP?

Many institutions have adopted SCALE-UP.Each site adapts the approach to fit their particular needs and environment. SCALE-UP has been successfully developed for classes ranging from 27 to 117 for a variety of disciplines from the humanities to science and engineering. Google map of SCALE-UP institutions

Does SCALE-UP work?

Research supports SCALE-UP. The effectiveness of SCALE-UP has been evaluated at multiple institutions. Internal reports and peer-reviewed publications support the positive impacts of SCALE-UP. Does SCALE-UP work? (studies with references)

      Next Page »