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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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Box-and-whisker plot of difference in posttest minus pretest score before (semester type 1) and after (semester type 2) the course redesign. There is a single outlier (small circle) above the box representing data from before the redesign (also apparent in Figure 4).
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Figure 5: Box-and-whisker plot of difference in posttest minus pretest score before (semester type 1) and after (semester type 2) the course redesign. There is a single outlier (small circle) above the box representing data from before the redesign (also apparent in Figure 4).

Mentions: Analysis using a box-and-whisker plot (Figure 5) shows that these changes are substantial. In all such plots, the top of the box represents the 75th percentile, the bottom of the box represents the 25th percentile, and the line in the middle represents the 50th percentile (median). The whiskers (the lines that extend out from the top and bottom of the box) represent the highest and lowest values that are not outliers or extreme values. Outliers (values that are between 1.5 and 3 times the interquartile range) and extreme values (values that are more than three times the interquartile range) are represented by circles beyond the whiskers.


Redesigning a large-enrollment introductory biology course.

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

Box-and-whisker plot of difference in posttest minus pretest score before (semester type 1) and after (semester type 2) the course redesign. There is a single outlier (small circle) above the box representing data from before the redesign (also apparent in Figure 4).
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 5: Box-and-whisker plot of difference in posttest minus pretest score before (semester type 1) and after (semester type 2) the course redesign. There is a single outlier (small circle) above the box representing data from before the redesign (also apparent in Figure 4).
Mentions: Analysis using a box-and-whisker plot (Figure 5) shows that these changes are substantial. In all such plots, the top of the box represents the 75th percentile, the bottom of the box represents the 25th percentile, and the line in the middle represents the 50th percentile (median). The whiskers (the lines that extend out from the top and bottom of the box) represent the highest and lowest values that are not outliers or extreme values. Outliers (values that are between 1.5 and 3 times the interquartile range) and extreme values (values that are more than three times the interquartile range) are represented by circles beyond the whiskers.

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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