Active Learning, Students Who Are Academically At-Risk, and Institutional Classification




Higgs, Meredith
Cobb, Christina
Morris, Pamela

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Texas State University, The Education Institute


In this study, self-reported survey results from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) 2017 and 2018 are examined to understand the extent to which students who were academically at-risk and academically prepared engaged in active learning versus traditional learning methods across bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree-granting institutions. The NSSE Report Builder Public (2018) was utilized to create a data set from first year student responses selecting for teaching methodologies, Carnegie Institutional Categories, and student academic level as determined by course grades. Researchers used chi-square analyses to establish associations between the variables; all chi-square results were statistically significant except for one; there was no association found between students who were academically at-risk and coursework that emphasized evaluative learning activities. Next, researchers analyzed the frequencies of types of learning activities reported by students. Students who were were academically at-risk reported lower frequencies of using active learning techniques and tended to engage in study for fewer hours across all institution types. From this analysis, suggestions for improving the instruction for students who are academically at-risk include increased use of active learning teaching strategies for the various types of degree-granting institutions.



students who are academically at-risk, active learning, Carnegie Institutional Categories


Higgs, M. A., Cobb, C., & Morris, P. (2021). Active learning, students who are academically at-risk, and institutional classification. Journal of College Academic Support Programs, 4(1), pp. 26-36.


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