Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Nathan Bowling (Committee Member), Dean Parmelee (Committee Member), Valerie Shalin (Committee Member), Debra Steele-Johnson (Advisor)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The purpose of this study was to examine key components of active learning. I hypothesized that feedback, accountability, and guided exploration were key components of active learning. I collected survey data from second year medical students (N = 103) in three different active learning interventions: peer instruction (PI), team-based learning (TBL), and problem-based learning (PBL), at six time points. My results did not consistently support my hypotheses. However, I observed a pattern of differences concerning feedback and accountability in the predicted direction in all three interventions. Feedback had a positive effect on professionalism in both PI and PBL, and accountability had positive effects on emotion control and professionalism in both PI and TBL. Also, I found results that raised issues related to each key component. Namely, that perceptions of feedback were influenced by the nature of questions, interactions between individuals, and the source of feedback. Furthermore, accountability was influenced by team membership and a proper measure of guided exploration needs to be developed. This study raised questions regarding which components of active learning affect important outcomes, and what issues affect key components of active learning.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded