Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


First Advisor

Allen Steckelberg

Date of this Version

Fall 12-2016


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Educational Studies (Instructional Technology), Under the Supervision of Professor Allen Steckelberg. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2016

Copyright (c) 2016 Jeremy C. Van Hof


Partly in response to university teachers’ changing pedagogies marked by flipping instruction, lecture capture technologies are evolving into active learning systems. Little published research exists on the effects of active learning technology on either teachers or students. This two-phase sequential explanatory mixed methods study details the effects that active learning systems have on instructor practices and on student grades and engagement. Phase one combined quantitative data collection with instructor interviews. Phase one findings show higher student engagement levels correlate with the use of the active learning system only in the presence of very specific, flipped classroom practices. Phase two, a multiple case study, contextualizes those findings by detailing the students’ experiences. Focus groups held within each of three bounded cases yielded multiple themes, which, coupled with the phase one results, led to five key findings. Primary among these findings are: 1) Active learning technology only correlates to higher engagement or grades when the teacher advocates frequently for the system’s use and students use it often, and 2) students have positive perceptions of active learning technology, use it primarily to prepare for exams, and on occasion change their note taking or attendance behaviors. Three recommendations for future research and practice follow a discussion of these findings.

Advisor: Allen Steckelberg