Effect of the Time of Day of Instruction on Student Learning

Nasim Muhammad, Gaganpreet Sidhu, Seshasai Srinivasan


In this work, we analyse the effect of the time of the day of instruction on student learning on a programming course taught to first-year undergraduate engineering students. A total of 174 students were split into three different groups, each  with a different class time. All were taught the same material and by the same instructor. It was found that students in the morning and early afternoon groups performed better than those in the late afternoon group. In all three groups, there was evidence of long-term retention of concepts, which is attributed to the intervention-based active learning environment using the principles of constructivism. Specifically, the techniques of reinforcement and feedback help with long term retention and avoidance of learning wrong concepts, aided by immediate corrective feedback.


Active learning; Constructivism; Instruction Time; Student Learning; Programming

Full Text:



Beichner, R. (2007). The Student-Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs (SCALE-UP) Project. Bloom, B. S. (1984). The 2-Sigma Problem: The Search for Methods of Group Instruction as Effective as One-to-One Tutoring. Educational Researcher, 13, 4-16. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X013006004

Burrowes, P.A. (2003).A Student-Centered Approach to Teaching General Biology That Really Works: Lord's Constructivist Model Put to a Test. Am. Biol. Teach. 65, 491-502.

Capon, N. & Kuhn, D. (2004). What's So Good About Problem-Based Learning?, Cogn. Instr. 22, 61-79.

Cardinali, D. (2008). Chronoeducation: How the Biological Clock Influences the Learning Process. In: A. M. Battro, K. W. Fischer, & P. J. Léna (Eds.), The Educated Brain Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Carrell, S. E., Maghakian, T., & West, J., (2011). A's from Zzzz's? The Causal Effect of School Start Time on the Academic Achievement of Adolescents. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 3, 62-81.

Centea, D. & Srinivasan, S. (2016). Assessment Methodology in a PBL Environment. International Journal of Innovation and Research in Educational Sciences, 6(6), 364-372.

Centea, D. & Srinivasan, S. (2017). Enhancing Student Learning through Problem Based Learning. In: A. Guerra, F. J. Rodriguez, A. Kolmos, & I.P. Reyes (Eds.), PBL, Social Progress and Sustainability. (pp. 376-385). Aalborg: Aalborg Universitetsforlag. (International Research Symposium on PBL).

Crowley, S., Acebo, C., & Carskadon, M. (2007). Sleep, Circadian Rhythms, and Delayed Phase in Adolescents. Sleep Medicine, 8, 602-612.

Cummings, K., Marx, J., Ronald, T., & Dennis, K. (1999). Evaluating innovation in studio physics, Am. J. Phys. 67, S38-S44

Davis, Z. (1987a). Effects of time-of-day of instruction on beginning reading achievement. Journal of Educational Research, 80(3), 138-140.

Davis, Z. (1987b). The effects of time-ofday of instruction on eighth grade students' English and mathematics achievement. The High School Journal, 72(2), 78-80.

Dills, A. K., & Hernandez-Julian, R. (2008). Course Scheduling and Academic Performance. Economics of Education Review, 27, 646-654.

Dochy, F., Segers, M., Van den Bossche, P., & Gijbels, D. (2003) Effects of problem-based learning: a meta-analysis. Learn. Instr., 13, 533-568.

Edwards, F. (2012). Early to Rise? The Effect of Daily Start Times on Academic Performance. Economics of Education Review, 31, 970-983.

Farrell, J.J., Moog, R.S., & Spencer, J.N. (1999). A Guided-Inquiry General Chemistry Course. J. Chem. Educ. 76, 570.

Goldstein, D., Hahn, C., Hasher, L., Wiprzycka, U., & Zelazo, P. (2007). Time of day, intellectual performance, and behavioral problems in morning versus evening type adolescents: Is there a synchrony effect? Personality and Individual Differences, 42(3), 431.

Hake, R.R. (1998). Interactive-engagement versus traditional methods: A six-thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses. Am. J. Phys. 66, 64-74.

Hartley, J., & Nicholls, L. (2008). Time of day, exam performance and new technology. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(3), 555-558.

Honebein, P. C. (1996). Seven goals for the design of constructivist learning environments. Constructivist learning environments: Case studies in instructional design, 11-24.

Johnston, H. (2009). Research brief learning time and student achievement. Education Partnerships, Inc.. Klein, J. (2001). Attention, scholastic achievement and timing of lessons. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research. 45(3), 301-309.

Klein, J. (2004). Planning middle school schedules for improved attention and achievement. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research. 48(4), 441-450.

Kolb, D.A. (2015). Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development, 2nd ed. Pearson Education Inc.

Lewis, S.E. & Lewis, J.E. (2005). Departing from Lectures: An Evaluation of a Peer-Led Guided Inquiry Alternative. J. Chem. Educ. 82, 135.

Lynch, P. K. (1981). An analysis of the relationships among academic achievement, attendance, and the learning style time preferences of eleventh and twelfth grade students identified as initial or chronic truants in a suburban New York school district (St. Johns University, New York), (Doctoral Dissertation).

May, C. P., Hasher, L., & Stoltzfus, E. R. (1993). Optimal time of day and the magnitude of age differences in memory. Psychological Science, 4(5), 326-330.

Millar, K., Styles, B., & Wastell, D. (1980). Time of day and retrieval from longterm memory. British Journal of Psychology, 71, 407-414.

Muhammad, N. & Srinivasan, S. (2020). A Problem Solving Based Approach to Learn Engineering Mathematics. In: M. Auer, H. Hortsch, & P. Sethakul (Eds), The Impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on Engineering Education. ICL 2019. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, 1134, 839-848.

Oliver, K. M. (2000). Methods for developing constructivism learning on the web. Educational Technology, 40(6)

Philibert, I. (2005). Sleep Loss and Performance in Residents and Nonphysicians: A Meta-Analytic Examination. Sleep, 28, 1392-1402.

Pope, N. G. (2016). How the time of day affects productivity:Evidence from school schedules. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 98(1), 1-11.

Prince, M. (2004). Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research. J. Eng. Educ. 93, 223-231.

Roselli, R.J. & Brophy, S.P. (2006). Effectiveness of Challenge-Based Instruction in Biomechanics. J. Eng. Educ. 95, 311-324.

Sidhu, G. & Srinivasan, S. (2018) An Intervention-Based Active-Learning Strategy To Enhance Student Performance in Mathematics. Int. J. Pedagog. Teach. Educ. 2, 277-288.

Sidhu, G., Srinivasan, S., & Centea, D. (2017). Implementation of a Problem Based Learning Environment for First Year Engineering Mathematics In: A. Guerra, F. J. Rodriguez, A. Kolmos, & I. P. Reyes (Eds), PBL, Social Progress and Sustainability. (pp. 201-208). Aalborg: Aalborg Universitetsforlag. (International Research Symposium on PBL)..

Sjosten-Bell, W. (2005). Influence of timeof- day on student performance on mathematical algorithms. 1-52. doi: ED490712

Srinivasan S. & Centea D. (2019). An Active Learning Strategy for Programming Courses. In: M. Auer & T. Tsiatsos (Eds). Mobile Technologies and Applications for the Internet of Things. IMCL 2018.. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing. 909, 327-336.

Srinivasan S., Rajabzadeh A.R., & Centea D. (2020). A Project-Centric Learning Strategy in Biotechnology. In: M. Auer, H. Hortsch , & P. Sethakul P. (Eds) The Impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on Engineering Education. ICL 2019. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, 1134, pp 830-838. Springer, Cham.

Srinivasan, S. & Centea, D. (2015). Applicability of Principles of Cognitive Science in Active Learning Pedagogies, Proceedings of the 13th International Workshop Active Learning in Engineering. (1st ed.) Aalborg Universitetsforlagpp, 99-104.

Virostko, J. (1983). An analysis of the relationships among academic achievement in mathematics and reading, assigned instructional schedules, and the learning style time preferences of third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students (St. Johns University, New York), (Doctoral Dissertation)

Wage, K.E., Buck, J.R., Wright, C.H.G., & Welch, T. B. (2005). The signals and systems concept inventory. IEEE Trans. Educ. 48, 448-461

Wile, A. J. & Shouppe, G. A. (2011). Does Time-of-Day of Instruction Impact Class Achievement? Perspectives in Learning: A Journal of the College of Education & Health Professions, 12(1), 21-25.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.20961/ijpte.v4i2.43070


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Nasim Muhammad, Gaganpreet Sidhu, Seshasai Srinivasan

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


International Journal of Pedagogy and Teacher Education

Print ISSN: 2597-7792
Online ISSN: 2549-8525
Website: https://jurnal.uns.ac.id/ijpte/index
Email: ijpte@mail.uns.ac.id
Published by: Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, Universitas Sebelas Maret
Ir. Sutami Street, No. 36A, Surakarta, Jawa Tengah Indonesia