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Redesigning a large-enrollment introductory biology course.

Ueckert C, Adams A, Lock J - CBE Life Sci Educ (2011)

Bottom Line: The redesigned course resulted in greater student success, as measured by grades (reduced %DFW and increased %AB) as well as by achievement in the course assessment tool.In addition, the redesigned course led to increased student satisfaction and greater consistency among different sections.These findings have important implications for both students and institutions, as the significantly lower DFW rate means that fewer students have to retake the course.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA. Catherine.ueckert@nau.edu

ABSTRACT
Using an action research model, biology faculty examined, implemented, and evaluated learner-centered instructional strategies to reach the goal of increasing the level of student achievement in the introductory biology course BIO 181: Unity of Life I, which was characterized by both high enrollments and a high DFW rate. Outcomes included the creation and implementation of an assessment tool for biology content knowledge and attitudes, development and implementation of a common syllabus, modification of the course to include learner-centered instructional strategies, and the collection and analysis of data to evaluate the success of the modifications. The redesigned course resulted in greater student success, as measured by grades (reduced %DFW and increased %AB) as well as by achievement in the course assessment tool. In addition, the redesigned course led to increased student satisfaction and greater consistency among different sections. These findings have important implications for both students and institutions, as the significantly lower DFW rate means that fewer students have to retake the course.

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Average grade distributions (%) in all sections of BIO 181 over a 6-yr interval. The redesign process occurred during academic year (AY) 2007 and was implemented across all sections in AY 2008. Average grade distributions for each semester were obtained by adding numbers of students in all sections obtaining an AB, C, or DFW that semester and dividing by the total number of BIO 181 students that semester. Blue, %AB; red, %C; green, %DFW.
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Figure 3: Average grade distributions (%) in all sections of BIO 181 over a 6-yr interval. The redesign process occurred during academic year (AY) 2007 and was implemented across all sections in AY 2008. Average grade distributions for each semester were obtained by adding numbers of students in all sections obtaining an AB, C, or DFW that semester and dividing by the total number of BIO 181 students that semester. Blue, %AB; red, %C; green, %DFW.

Mentions: Weekly Web-based quizzes. In introductory classes, students have often not learned how to study on a regular basis, and they often get behind on the material. To address this issue, weekly Web-based quizzes were implemented. These provided students with frequent feedback on their learning and helped them keep up with the material. 


Redesigning a large-enrollment introductory biology course.

Ueckert C, Adams A, Lock J - CBE Life Sci Educ (2011)

Average grade distributions (%) in all sections of BIO 181 over a 6-yr interval. The redesign process occurred during academic year (AY) 2007 and was implemented across all sections in AY 2008. Average grade distributions for each semester were obtained by adding numbers of students in all sections obtaining an AB, C, or DFW that semester and dividing by the total number of BIO 181 students that semester. Blue, %AB; red, %C; green, %DFW.
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3105923&req=5

Figure 3: Average grade distributions (%) in all sections of BIO 181 over a 6-yr interval. The redesign process occurred during academic year (AY) 2007 and was implemented across all sections in AY 2008. Average grade distributions for each semester were obtained by adding numbers of students in all sections obtaining an AB, C, or DFW that semester and dividing by the total number of BIO 181 students that semester. Blue, %AB; red, %C; green, %DFW.
Mentions: Weekly Web-based quizzes. In introductory classes, students have often not learned how to study on a regular basis, and they often get behind on the material. To address this issue, weekly Web-based quizzes were implemented. These provided students with frequent feedback on their learning and helped them keep up with the material. 

Bottom Line: The redesigned course resulted in greater student success, as measured by grades (reduced %DFW and increased %AB) as well as by achievement in the course assessment tool.In addition, the redesigned course led to increased student satisfaction and greater consistency among different sections.These findings have important implications for both students and institutions, as the significantly lower DFW rate means that fewer students have to retake the course.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA. Catherine.ueckert@nau.edu

ABSTRACT
Using an action research model, biology faculty examined, implemented, and evaluated learner-centered instructional strategies to reach the goal of increasing the level of student achievement in the introductory biology course BIO 181: Unity of Life I, which was characterized by both high enrollments and a high DFW rate. Outcomes included the creation and implementation of an assessment tool for biology content knowledge and attitudes, development and implementation of a common syllabus, modification of the course to include learner-centered instructional strategies, and the collection and analysis of data to evaluate the success of the modifications. The redesigned course resulted in greater student success, as measured by grades (reduced %DFW and increased %AB) as well as by achievement in the course assessment tool. In addition, the redesigned course led to increased student satisfaction and greater consistency among different sections. These findings have important implications for both students and institutions, as the significantly lower DFW rate means that fewer students have to retake the course.

Show MeSH