SCALE-UP Workshop

A large unused room in the lower level of Ingersoll Hall has been transformed into a glistening new SCALE-UP classroom where two classes, Physics 1 and Calculus 1, are being taught as SCALE-UP classes.

About SCALE-UP

  • SCALE-UP stands for "Student Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs." The primary goal of the SCALE-UP Project is to establish a highly collaborative, hands-on, computer-rich, interactive learning environment for large, introductory college courses.
  • SCALE-UP is taught in classes of up to 150 students, folding together lecture and lab in a way that provides an effective, economical alternative to traditional lecture-oriented instruction. SCALE-UP can turn a large classroom into an intimate instructional setting.
  • Students gain a deeper understanding through hands-on activities. In the process, students practice team-building and communication skills that employers and accrediting agencies value.
  • There is ample evidence from many STEM courses at dozens of institutions that students in SCALE-UP classes gain a better conceptual understanding than their peers in traditional lecture-based classes.
  • SCALE-UP improves student learning outcomes. Non-passing grades and withdrawals decrease in some cases by as much as 50 percent, with a corresponding increase in pass rates.
  • Students like SCALE-UP. They understand that the method leads to better learning; at schools where they have a choice, students almost always prefer SCALE-UP based classes compared to lecture courses.

For more information on SCALE-UP, visit the SCALE-UP website or the Science Education and Resource Center at Carleton College.

For the data and selected papers on the results of SCALE-UP teaching in physics and chemistry, see the following:

R. Beichner. "The SCALE-UP Project: A Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs," an invited white paper for the National Academy of Sciences, September 2008.

R. Beichner, J. Saul, D. Abbott, J. Morse, D. Deardorff, R. Allain, S. Bonham, M. Dancy and J. Risley. "The Student-Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs (SCALE-UP) Project." Research-Based Reform of University Physics. Eds. E.F. Redish and P.J. Cooney. College Park, Md.: American Association of Physics Teachers (2007).

M. Oliver-Hoyo, D. Allen, W. Hunt, J. Hutson and A. Pitts. "Effects of an Active Learning Environment: Teaching Innovations at a Research I Institution." Journal of Chemical Education 81.3 (2004).