Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2020

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Robust evidence shows that Peer-led Team Learning (PLTL) improves the academic success of college students in introductory Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses. However, further research is needed to gain a fuller understanding of the benefits of PLTL and the aim of this dissertation is to explore two key and understudied questions surrounding the effects of PLTL. First, does deviating from the optimal implementation of PLTL change its effectiveness? Second, what specific outcomes, in addition to academic success (e.g., exam scores), does PLTL improve? This dissertation will provide a fuller picture of the impact of PLTL by examining its effect on a wide range of academic success (e.g., exam scores), learning (e.g., conceptual knowledge, expert-like attitudes and approaches, knowledge structure) and social-psychological (e.g., growth mindset, sense of belonging) measures for a calculus-based introductory physics course. Furthermore, to fully understand the differences between the PLTL and non-PLTL participants all analyses are disaggregated by demographics (sex, race and year in college). This dissertation highlights that there are a number of crucial factors you must have in order to obtain a robust benefit from PLTL.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Francesc Ferrer Mark McDaniel

Committee Members

Andrew C. Butler, Kathryn M. Hynes, Ryan C. Ogliore,

Included in

Physics Commons