A Student-Choice Model to Address Diverse Needs and Promote Active Learning


A student-choice model course redesign was used to counteract a large increase in student enrollment, improve the quality of instruction, and preserve student success. This model is an instructional technique that allows students to choose how to engage in a course. Using this model in a first-semester college-level general chemistry course, online options were created to augment the traditional face-to-face course. The traditional lecture time was reduced from 3 to 2 h per week while the traditional recitation time was increased from 1 to 2 h per week. The recitation component was also transitioned from a supplemental lecture session into a problem-solving active-learning component. A mandatory rotation between face-to-face and online options at the start of the semester was necessary to assist students in making an informed choice about what options best fit their needs. Pre- and post-redesign student performance data (2008-2016) and post-redesign student enrollment data (2012-2016) were evaluated. Course performance was maintained and often improved in post-redesign years, and was generally equivalent in the different course combinations.



Keywords and Phrases

Blended instruction; Collaborative learning; Gatekeeper course; General chemistry; STEM education; Student-choice model

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1059-0145; 1573-1839

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2019 Springer Netherlands, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

15 Mar 2019