What does the research say?
Research base behind the design of SCALE-UP
SCALE-UP was developed based on extensive research on the effectiveness of integrated learning environments such as Workshop Physics and Studio Physics (Wilson 1994, Hoellwarth et al. 2005), of research-based curricula for small group work in Physics (Meltzer and Thornton 2012) such as Tutorials in Introductory Physics and Context-Rich Problems, and of active learning methods (Johnson et al. 1981, Prince 2004) and social interaction (Astin 1994) in general. Before SCALE-UP, only small classes or recitation sections (typically less than 30 students) used curricula centered around students working in small groups on research-based activities. SCALE-UP was an attempt to "scale up" the successes of small integrated learning environments to classes of up to 100 students.
The structure of SCALE-UP also draws on results from Cooperative Group Problem-solving about how to structure and facilitate students working in small groups (Heller and Hollabaugh 1992), and Johnson, Johnson, and Smith's critical characteristics of successful cooperative learning: Positive interdependence, Individual accountability, Face-to-face interaction, Appropriate use of interpersonal skills, and Regular self-assessment of group functioning.
Research involved in the development of SCALE-UP
Research showing the effectiveness of SCALE-UP
Research on the use of SCALE-UP in different environments
- P. Heller and M. Hollabaugh, Teaching Problem Solving Through Cooperative Grouping. Part 2: Designing Problems and Structuring Groups, Am. J. Phys. 60 (7), 637 (1992).
- D. Meltzer and R. Thornton, Resource Letter ALIP–1: Active-Learning Instruction in Physics, Am. J. Phys. 80 (6), 478 (2012).
- J. Wilson, The CUPLE Physics Studio, Phys. Teach. 32 (9), 518 (1994).