Increasing learning in introductory geoscience courses using lecture tutorials

Document Type


Date of Original Version



Students often leave introductory geoscience courses without learning the scientific perspective, and we developed Lecture Tutorials to help alleviate this problem. Lecture Tutorials are 10-20 minute interactive worksheets that students complete in small groups in class after a short introductory lecture. They are specifically designed to combat alternative conceptions and increase learning on difficult topics. Our study shows that Lecture Tutorials increase student learning in the classroom more than just lecture alone. On related multiple choice questions asked before and after the Lecture Tutorial (but after a short lecture on the topic), student scores increased 19%. When a subset of these questions was given before and after an extended lecture instead of a Lecture Tutorial, student scores did not increase by a statistically significant amount. On the multiple choice assessment questions given on exams relating to the information covered in the Lecture Tutorials, students who completed the Lecture Tutorials scored significantly higher than students who heard just lecture. In addition, students feel that they are an important and useful part of their learning experience. Lecture Tutorials are being disseminated and are available for instructor use.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Geoscience Education