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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.

Show MeSH
Change in student attitudes toward the course over time. Percentage of agreement with four statements (see text) were obtained from all students enrolled in BIO 181 for each of three semesters (Fall 2006, prior to the redesign, and Fall 2009/Spring 2010, after the redesign).
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Related In: Results  -  Collection


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Figure 8: Change in student attitudes toward the course over time. Percentage of agreement with four statements (see text) were obtained from all students enrolled in BIO 181 for each of three semesters (Fall 2006, prior to the redesign, and Fall 2009/Spring 2010, after the redesign).

Mentions: A 22-item survey was administered to all four sections of BIO 181 at the beginning of the Fall 2006 semester to find out more about the students enrolled in BIO 181 and to determine whether the different sections were similar in composition. There were no significant differences in demographics among the four sections in terms of gender, ethnic make-up, or major. The Fall 2006 results established the baseline that was used to compare student satisfaction after full implementation of the course redesign. The percentage of agreement to each of the four questions was compared with the baseline data to determine whether a change in attitude had occurred from the beginning of the redesign in Fall 2006 to Spring 2010 (see Figure 8). Instructor impact on student responses was minimized by the researcher administering the anonymous survey in the lab portion of the course. All students enrolled in BIO 181 lab in Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 were surveyed. Students are required to enroll in both the lecture and lab portions of the course.Figure 8.


Redesigning a large-enrollment introductory biology course.

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

Change in student attitudes toward the course over time. Percentage of agreement with four statements (see text) were obtained from all students enrolled in BIO 181 for each of three semesters (Fall 2006, prior to the redesign, and Fall 2009/Spring 2010, after the redesign).
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 8: Change in student attitudes toward the course over time. Percentage of agreement with four statements (see text) were obtained from all students enrolled in BIO 181 for each of three semesters (Fall 2006, prior to the redesign, and Fall 2009/Spring 2010, after the redesign).
Mentions: A 22-item survey was administered to all four sections of BIO 181 at the beginning of the Fall 2006 semester to find out more about the students enrolled in BIO 181 and to determine whether the different sections were similar in composition. There were no significant differences in demographics among the four sections in terms of gender, ethnic make-up, or major. The Fall 2006 results established the baseline that was used to compare student satisfaction after full implementation of the course redesign. The percentage of agreement to each of the four questions was compared with the baseline data to determine whether a change in attitude had occurred from the beginning of the redesign in Fall 2006 to Spring 2010 (see Figure 8). Instructor impact on student responses was minimized by the researcher administering the anonymous survey in the lab portion of the course. All students enrolled in BIO 181 lab in Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 were surveyed. Students are required to enroll in both the lecture and lab portions of the course.Figure 8.

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