Who goes where? The importance of peer groups on attainment and the student use of the lecture theatre teaching space

SMITH, David, HOARE, Angela and LACEY, Melissa (2018). Who goes where? The importance of peer groups on attainment and the student use of the lecture theatre teaching space. FEBS Open Bio, 8 (9), 1368-1378.

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Official URL: https://febs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.10...
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1002/2211-5463.12494


Understanding how students interact and learn within the lecture theatre environment is central to successful learning outcomes. Previous studies into the use of the lecture theatre teaching space have found that students sit in specific locations due to a range of factors; these include being noticed, addressing anxiety or an ability to focus. This study further explores the personal and social factors at play within students’ lecture theatre seating choice and the resulting effects on attainment. Student responses on seating preferences detailing why they chose a given location were mapped at a seat‐specific level and correlated against attainment. In parallel, staff perceptions of student attainment in relation to their seating choice were obtained. No direct correlation between student location and attainment was found, contrary to staff perceptions. Interestingly, it was found that students physically locate into friendship groups clusters and that these clusters obtained similar levels of attainment in problem‐solving tasks, with pockets of both high‐ and low‐performing students being observed. It was also noted that isolated students performed less well. These data would indicate that peer group formation exerts a strong impact on attainment and engagement. Outcomes from this study will enable academic staff to better understand the student body and inform the way in which teaching sessions are performed within a lecture theatre.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: engagement, learning space, lecture, peer groups, performance, seat location
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre
Departments: Health and Well-being > Department of Bioscience
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1002/2211-5463.12494
Depositing User: David Smith
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2018 13:30
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2018 13:10
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22407

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