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Using Online Active-Learning Techniques to Convey Time Compensated Sun Compass Orientation in the Eastern North American Monarch

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

A common tool that animals use to navigate in a constant direction is known as “time compensated sun compass orientation.” This is a process by which animals use the position of the sun along with information from their internal circadian clocks to determine and maintain a directional heading. Many circadian scientists and educators use this process as an example of how the internal circadian clock can directly influence animal behavior. However, many students have difficulty grasping this biological process due to its multivariable nature. We have created an online module that uses the principles of active learning to facilitate student comprehension of this process. Our module contains instructional videos, practice problems and an interactive diagram. We implemented the module in an undergraduate biological clocks class at Vanderbilt University, where its use significantly improved students’ understanding of time compensated sun compass orientation as well as their ability to solve complex problems involving principles associated with this process.

No MeSH data available.


Usefulness surveys for the practice problems (A), interactive diagram (B) and instructional videos (C). Students were asked to rate how useful each aspect of the module was on a scale of 1 (no value) to 5 (very valuable).
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f1-jmbe-17-430: Usefulness surveys for the practice problems (A), interactive diagram (B) and instructional videos (C). Students were asked to rate how useful each aspect of the module was on a scale of 1 (no value) to 5 (very valuable).

Mentions: Finally, after the first exam the students completed a survey concerning the success of the module. This survey included questions such as: “Did you use the module in preparation for the exam? If so, did you find it helpful? Which portion of the module did you find most helpful?” This gave us a qualitative idea of how well we satisfied our learning goals. Out of 25 responses, 78.3% of students stated that they had used the module to prepare for the exam. They were then asked to rate the value of each section of the module on a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being of no value and 5 being very valuable). Overall, students found the practice problems most valuable: all students rated the value of the practice problems at 3 or higher (Fig. 1A). The vast majority of students found the interactive diagram to be valuable as well, with 88% of students rating the value of the diagram at 3 or higher (Fig. 1B). Finally, the responses suggested that the majority of students also found the videos valuable, with 80% of students rating the value of the videos at 3 or higher (Fig. 1C). This suggests that while students found all three sections of the module valuable, giving students extra practice solving problems that force them to apply their knowledge of time compensated sun compass orientation was most valuable.


Using Online Active-Learning Techniques to Convey Time Compensated Sun Compass Orientation in the Eastern North American Monarch
Usefulness surveys for the practice problems (A), interactive diagram (B) and instructional videos (C). Students were asked to rate how useful each aspect of the module was on a scale of 1 (no value) to 5 (very valuable).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5134947&req=5

f1-jmbe-17-430: Usefulness surveys for the practice problems (A), interactive diagram (B) and instructional videos (C). Students were asked to rate how useful each aspect of the module was on a scale of 1 (no value) to 5 (very valuable).
Mentions: Finally, after the first exam the students completed a survey concerning the success of the module. This survey included questions such as: “Did you use the module in preparation for the exam? If so, did you find it helpful? Which portion of the module did you find most helpful?” This gave us a qualitative idea of how well we satisfied our learning goals. Out of 25 responses, 78.3% of students stated that they had used the module to prepare for the exam. They were then asked to rate the value of each section of the module on a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being of no value and 5 being very valuable). Overall, students found the practice problems most valuable: all students rated the value of the practice problems at 3 or higher (Fig. 1A). The vast majority of students found the interactive diagram to be valuable as well, with 88% of students rating the value of the diagram at 3 or higher (Fig. 1B). Finally, the responses suggested that the majority of students also found the videos valuable, with 80% of students rating the value of the videos at 3 or higher (Fig. 1C). This suggests that while students found all three sections of the module valuable, giving students extra practice solving problems that force them to apply their knowledge of time compensated sun compass orientation was most valuable.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

A common tool that animals use to navigate in a constant direction is known as “time compensated sun compass orientation.” This is a process by which animals use the position of the sun along with information from their internal circadian clocks to determine and maintain a directional heading. Many circadian scientists and educators use this process as an example of how the internal circadian clock can directly influence animal behavior. However, many students have difficulty grasping this biological process due to its multivariable nature. We have created an online module that uses the principles of active learning to facilitate student comprehension of this process. Our module contains instructional videos, practice problems and an interactive diagram. We implemented the module in an undergraduate biological clocks class at Vanderbilt University, where its use significantly improved students’ understanding of time compensated sun compass orientation as well as their ability to solve complex problems involving principles associated with this process.

No MeSH data available.