Professor Scott Overmyer of Baker College, in a discussion list post, raised four points bearing on a question of interest to those involved in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL): Can Distance and Classroom Learning Be Increased? My answer: “YES” - judging from the fact that pre/post testing in courses in Newtonian mechanics has demonstrated an approximately two-standard-deviation superiority in average normalized gains for classroom “interactive engagement” methods over “traditional” classroom methods. Similarly, pre/post testing might demonstrate a substantive superiority over traditional classroom teaching for both classroom and distance education that recognize recent advances in cognitive science and emphasize learning rather than teaching. But such demonstration probably cannot be achieved if scholars of teaching and learning continue to rely on low-resolution gauges of students' learning.

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