Sensors: An Introductory Course provides an essential reference on the fundamentals of sensors. The book is designed to help readers in developing skills and the understanding required in order to implement a wide range of sensors that are commonly used in our daily lives. This book covers the basic concepts in the sensors field, including definitions and terminologies. The physical sensing effects are described, and devices which utilize these effects are presented. The most frequently used organic and inorganic sensors are introduced and the techniques for implementing them are discussed. This book: Provides a comprehensive representation of the most common sensors and can be used as a reference in relevant fields Presents learning materials in a concise and easy to understand manner Includes examples of how sensors are incorporated in real life measurements Contains detailed figures and schematics to assist in understanding the sensor performance Sensors: An Introductory Course is ideal for university stu...
Locknar, Angela; Mitchell, Rudolph; Rankin, Janet; Sadoway, Donald R.
A first-year chemistry course is ideal for introducing students to finding and using scholarly information early in their academic careers. A four-pronged approach (lectures, homework problems, videos, and model solutions) was used to incorporate library research skills into a large lecture-based course. Pre- and post-course surveying demonstrated…
Millennial students often possess characteristics at odds with typical lecture-based approaches to introductory accounting courses. The author introduces an approach for reaching millennial students early in introductory accounting courses in ways that fit millennials' characteristics. This article describes the use of the board game Monopoly[R]…
Koppelman, Herman; van Dijk, Betsy
Abstraction is viewed as a key concept in computer science. It is not only an important concept but also one that is difficult to master. This paper focuses on the problems that novices experience when they first encounter this concept. Three assignments from introductory courses are analyzed, to
The CERN Accelerator School’s introductory course is a great success. This year the CERN Accelerator School held its "Introduction to Accelerator Physics" course in Frascati, Italy, from 2-14 November in collaboration with the University of Rome "La Sapienza" and the INFN Frascati National Laboratory. The Introductory level course is particularly important since, for the majority of participants, it is the first opportunity to discover the various aspects of accelerator physics. For this school the programme had been significantly revised in order to take into account the new trends currently being developed in the field, thus putting more emphasis on linacs, synchrotron light sources and free-electron lasers. The school was a resounding success with 115 participants of more than 23 nationalities. Feedback from the students praised the expertise of the lecturers, the high standard of the lectures as well as the excellent organizati...
Gorain, Ganesh C
Introductory Course on DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS provides an excellent exposition of the fundamentals of ordinary and partial differential equations and is ideally suited for a first course of undergraduate students of mathematics, physics and engineering. The aim of this book is to present the elementary theories of differential equations in the forms suitable for use of those students whose main interest in the subject are based on simple mathematical ideas. KEY FEATURES: Discusses the subject in a systematic manner without sacrificing mathematical rigour. A variety of exercises drill the students in problem solving in view of the mathematical theories explained in the book. Worked out examples illustrated according to the theories developed in the book with possible alternatives. Exhaustive collection of problems and the simplicity of presentation differentiate this book from several others. Material contained will help teachers as well as aspiring students of different competitive examinations.
Pfannkuch, Maxine; Regan, Matt; Wild, Chris; Budgett, Stephanie; Forbes, Sharleen; Harraway, John; Parsonage, Ross
This article sets out some of the rationale and arguments for making major changes to the teaching and learning of statistical inference in introductory courses at our universities by changing from a norm-based, mathematical approach to more conceptually accessible computer-based approaches. The core problem of the inferential argument with its…
Reports research which tests the Stigler Hypothesis. The hypothesis suggests that students who have taken introductory economics courses and those who have not show little difference in test performance five years after completing college. Results of the author's research illustrate that economics students do retain some knowledge of economics…
A questionnaire was developed to determine the content, mode of instruction, approach, and textbook selection of instructors of introductory economics courses. The survey was distributed in 1974 to 143 economics instructors at two- and four-year colleges in Illinois. Results are presented here, and recommendations are made. (Author/NHM)
Philosophy of medicine, narrowly defined as ontology and epistemology of medicine, is a well developed research field, yet education in this field is less well developed. The aim of this paper is to present an educational development in philosophy of medicine-an introductory course in philosophy of medicine. Central features of the course are described. Participants (medical undergraduate students) scored high on average. The conclusion is that further such educational ventures in philosophy of medicine should be developed and implemented.
Kortsarts, Yana; Morris, Robert W.; Utell, Janine M.
Bioinformatics is a relatively new interdisciplinary field that integrates computer science, mathematics, biology, and information technology to manage, analyze, and understand biological, biochemical and biophysical information. We present our experience in teaching an interdisciplinary course, Introduction to Bioinformatics, which was developed…
Liu, Yujuan; Raker, Jeffrey R.; Lewis, Jennifer E.
Academic Motivation Scale-Chemistry (AMS-Chemistry), an instrument based on the self-determination theory, was used to evaluate students' motivation in two organic chemistry courses, where one course was primarily lecture-based and the other implemented flipped classroom and peer-led team learning (Flip-PLTL) pedagogies. Descriptive statistics…
Samuelson, David B; Divaris, Kimon; De Kok, Ingeborg J
This study compared the acceptability and relative effectiveness of case-based learning (CBL) versus traditional lecture-based (LB) instruction in a preclinical removable prosthodontics course in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry DDS curriculum. The entire second-year class (N=82) comprised this crossover study's sample. Assessments of baseline comprehension and confidence in removable partial denture (RPD) treatment planning were conducted at the beginning of the course. Near the end of the course, half of the class received CBL and LB instruction in an RPD module in alternating sequence, with students serving as their own control group. Assessments of perceived RPD treatment planning efficacy, comprehension, and instruction method preference were administered directly after students completed the RPD module and six months later. Analyses of variance accounting for period, carryover, and sequence effects were used to determine the relative effects of each approach using a peffects, CBL was also associated with higher gains in RPD treatment planning comprehension (p=0.04) and perceived efficacy (p=0.01) compared to LB instruction. These gains diminished six months after the course-a finding based on a 49% follow-up response rate. Overall, the students overwhelmingly preferred CBL to LB instruction, and the findings suggest small albeit measurable educational benefits associated with CBL. This study's findings support the introduction and further testing of CBL in the preclinical dental curriculum, in anticipation of possible future benefits evident during clinical training.
Hansen, Michael Reichhardt; Kristensen, Jens Thyge; Rischel, Hans
This paper presents an introductory programming course designed to teach programming as an intellectual activity. The course emphasizes understandable concepts which can be useful in designing programs, while the oddities of today's technology are considered of secondary importance. An important...... goal is to fight the trial-and-error approach to programming which is a result of the students battles with horribly designed and documented systems and languages prior to their studies at university. Instead, the authors strive for giving the students a good experience of programming as a systematic......, intellectual activity where the solution of a programming problem can be described in an understandable way. The approach is illustrated by an example which is a commented solution of a problem posed to the students in the course....
King, Cynthia M.
Outlines an introductory public relations writing course. Presents course topics and objectives, and assignments designed to meet them. Provides a sample grading rubric and evaluates major public relations writing textbooks. Discusses learning and assessment strategies. (SR)
Ali, Azad; Smith, David
A department of computer science (CS) has faced a peculiar situation regarding their selection of introductory programming course. This course is a required course for the students enrolled in the CS program and is a prerequisite to their other advanced programming courses. At the same time, the course can be considered a general education course…
Woodard, Roger; McGowan, Herle
In 2005, the "Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education" (GAISE) college report described several recommendations for teaching introductory statistics. This paper discusses how a large multi-section introductory course was redesigned in order to implement these recommendations. The experience described discusses…
Bartels, Jared M.; Milovich, Marilyn M.; Moussier, Sabrina
The present study examined the coverage of Stanford prison experiment (SPE), including criticisms of the study, in introductory psychology courses through an online survey of introductory psychology instructors (N = 117). Results largely paralleled those of the recently published textbook analyses with ethical issues garnering the most coverage,…
Orear, Jay; Salpeter, E. E.
Discusses the phenomenon of formation of white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes from dying stars for the purpose of providing college teachers with materials usable in the introductory physics course. (CC)
Everson, Michelle; Zieffler, Andrew; Garfield, Joan
This article introduces the recently adopted Guidelines for the Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) and provides two examples of introductory statistics courses that have been redesigned to better align with these guidelines.
Fundamentals of Aerospace Engineering is a text book that provides an introductory, thorough overview of aeronautical engineering, and it is aimed at serving as reference for an undergraduate course on aerospace engineering.
Mundfrom, Daniel J.; Shaw, Dale G.; Thomas, Ann; Young, Suzanne; Moore, Alan D.
This study addresses the question, "What should graduate students know about research and statistics after completing an initial course?" Individuals who teach such courses at various Carnegie classifications of institutions were surveyed about the specific characteristics of an introductory graduate research course at their own institutions to…
Duffus, Dwight; Olifer, Andrei
We describe two sets of courses designed to enhance the mathematical, statistical, and computational training of life science undergraduates at Emory College. The first course is an introductory sequence in differential and integral calculus, modeling with differential equations, probability, and inferential statistics. The second is an upper-division course in computational neuroscience. We provide a description of each course, detailed syllabi, examples of content, and a brief discussion of the main issues encountered in developing and offering the courses.
Karim, Nafis I.; Maries, Alexandru; Singh, Chandralekha
Prior research suggests that using evidence-based pedagogies can not only improve learning for all students, it can also reduce the gender gap. We describe the impact of physics education research-based pedagogical techniques in flipped and active-engagement non-flipped courses on the gender gap observed with validated conceptual surveys. We compare male and female students’ performance in courses which make significant use of evidence-based active-engagement (EBAE) strategies with courses that primarily use lecture-based (LB) instruction. All courses had large enrolment and often had more than 100 students. The analysis of data for validated conceptual surveys presented here includes data from two-semester sequences of algebra-based and calculus-based introductory physics courses. The conceptual surveys used to assess student learning in the first and second semester courses were the force concept inventory and the conceptual survey of electricity and magnetism, respectively. In the research discussed here, the performance of male and female students in EBAE courses at a particular level is compared with LB courses in two situations: (I) the same instructor taught two courses, one of which was an EBAE course and the other an LB course, while the homework, recitations and final exams were kept the same; (II) student performance in all of the EBAE courses taught by different instructors was averaged and compared with LB courses of the same type also averaged over different instructors. In all cases, on conceptual surveys we find that students in courses which make significant use of active-engagement strategies, on average, outperformed students in courses of the same type using primarily lecture-based instruction even though there was no statistically significant difference on the pre-test before instruction. However, the gender gap persisted even in courses using EBAE methods. We also discuss correlations between the performance of male and female students on
Sit, Stefany M.; Brudzinski, Michael R.
The recent emphasis in higher education on both student engagement and online learning encouraged the authors to develop an active e-learning environment for an introductory geohazards course, which enrolls 70+ undergraduate students per semester. Instructors focused on replicating the achievements and addressing the challenges within an already established face-to-face student-centered class (Brudzinski and Sikorski 2010; Sit 2013). Through the use of a learning management system (LMS) and other available technologies, a wide range of course components were developed including online homework assignments with automatic grading and tailored feedback, video tutorials of software programs like Google Earth and Microsoft Excel, and more realistic scientific investigations using authentic and freely available data downloaded from the internet. The different course components designed to engage students and improve overall student learning and development were evaluated using student surveys and instructor reflection. Each component can be used independently and intertwined into a face-to-face course. Results suggest that significant opportunities are available in an online environment including the potential for improved student performance and new datasets for educational research. Specifically, results from pre and post-semester Geoscience Concept Inventory (GCI) testing in an active e-learning course show enhanced student learning gains compared to face-to-face lecture-based and student-centered courses.
Harlow, Jason J. B.; Harrison, David M.; Justason, Michael; Meyertholen, Andrew; Wilson, Brian
We measured the personality type of the students in a large introductory physics course of mostly life science students using the True Colors instrument. We found large correlations of personality type with performance on the precourse Force Concept Inventory (FCI), both term tests, the postcourse FCI, and the final examination. We also saw correlations with the normalized gain on the FCI. The personality profile of the students in this course is very different from the profile of the physics faculty and graduate students, and also very different from the profile of students taking the introductory physics course intended for physics majors and specialists.
Marcketti, Sara B.; Wang, Xinxin; Greder, Kate
At Iowa State University, the introductory textile science course is a required 4-credit class for all undergraduate students enrolled in the Apparel, Merchandising, and Design Program. Frustrated by a perceived gap between students who easily comprehended course material and those who complained and struggled, the instructor implemented an…
Duffus, Dwight; Olifer, Andrei
We describe two sets of courses designed to enhance the mathematical, statistical, and computational training of life science undergraduates at Emory College. The first course is an introductory sequence in differential and integral calculus, modeling with differential equations, probability, and inferential statistics. The second is an…
McGuinness, Michael J.
An international business simulation game designed for an introductory International Business course. The simulation game allows for student decision making and allows for the ready introduction of many topics which are covered in an International Business course. The simulation game has continued to be improved with student suggestions and has…
Blissitt, Andrea Marie
Currently, many undergraduate nursing courses use blended-learning course formats with success; however, little evidence exists that supports the use of blended formats in introductory pathophysiology courses. The purpose of this study was to compare the scores on pre- and posttests and course satisfaction between traditional and blended course formats in an introductory nursing pathophysiology course. This study used a quantitative, quasi-experimental, nonrandomized control group, pretest-posttest design. Analysis of covariance compared pre- and posttest scores, and a t test for independent samples compared students' reported course satisfaction of the traditional and blended course formats. Results indicated that the differences in posttest scores were not statistically significant between groups. Students in the traditional group reported statistically significantly higher satisfaction ratings than students in the blended group. The results of this study support the need for further research of using blended learning in introductory pathophysiology courses in undergraduate baccalaureate nursing programs. Further investigation into how satisfaction is affected by course formats is needed. Copyright 2016, SLACK Incorporated.
MUHAMMAD SHUMAIL NAVEED
Full Text Available Programming is the core of computer science and due to this momentousness a special care is taken in designing the curriculum of programming courses. A substantial work has been conducted on the definition of programming courses, yet the introductory programming courses are still facing high attrition, low retention and lack of motivation. This paper introduced a tiny pre-programming language called LPL (Learners Programming Language as a ZPL (Zeroth Programming Language to illuminate novice students about elementary concepts of introductory programming before introducing the first imperative programming course. The overall objective and design philosophy of LPL is based on a hypothesis that the soft introduction of a simple and paradigm specific textual programming can increase the motivation level of novice students and reduce the congenital complexities and hardness of the first programming course and eventually improve the retention rate and may be fruitful in reducing the dropout/failure level. LPL also generates the equivalent high level programs from user source program and eventually very fruitful in understanding the syntax of introductory programming languages. To overcome the inherent complexities of unusual and rigid syntax of introductory programming languages, the LPL provide elementary programming concepts in the form of algorithmic and plain natural language based computational statements. The initial results obtained after the introduction of LPL are very encouraging in motivating novice students and improving the retention rate.
Severiens, S.; Meeuwisse, M.; Born, M.
Past research has shown that, under certain conditions, student-centred and small-scale course programmes result in more academic success. The present study investigates these conditions in further detail. It is examined whether, in comparison to a course programme that is relatively more
Broeckelman-Post, Melissa A.; Pyle, Andrew S.
The purpose of this study was to compare student growth in public speaking and hybrid introductory communication skills courses on four outcomes: public speaking anxiety, self-perceived communication competence, intercultural effectiveness, and connected classroom climate. This study also sought to find out whether there were differences in the…
Towner, Terri L.
Research on the influence of class size on student academic achievement is important for university instructors, administrators, and students. The article examines the influence of class size--a small section versus a large section--in introductory political science courses on student grades in two comparable semesters. It is expected that…
Budd, D. A.; van der Hoeven Kraft, K. J.; McConnell, D. A.; Vislova, T.
Most research about reformed teaching practices in the college science classroom is based on instructor self-report. This research describes what is happening in some introductory geology courses at multiple institutions across the country using external observers. These observations are quantified using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol…
Chirdon, William M.
This work describes how molecular simulation of polymerization reactions can be used to enrich introductory polymer or material science courses to give students a deeper understanding of free-radical chain and stepwise growth polymerization reactions. These simulations have proven to be effective media for instruction that do not require material…
Lynch, Patrick; S. J.; Mizak, Pat
A growing interest in the communication to students of the mission and identity of a higher education institution prompted this study about the presence of Catholic, Jesuit values in the introductory religious studies course at a faith-based university. To conduct this study a survey instrument was developed, piloted, further refined, and then…
Malik, Sohail Iqbal; Coldwell-Neilson, Jo
High failure and drop-out rates from introductory programming courses continue to be of significant concern to computer science disciplines despite extensive research attempting to address the issue. In this study, we include the three entities of the didactic triangle, instructors, students and curriculum, to explore the learning difficulties…
Magalhães, Marcos Nascimento; Magalhães, Maria Cecilia Camargo
In this paper, we report on the impact of four activities and two interviews on the organization of an introductory statistics course attended by future mathematics teachers at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The activities were designed to enhance students' learning and collaborative knowledge construction, based on Vygotsky's…
Doehler, Kirsten; Taylor, Laura
This article is based on the experiences of two statistics professors who have taught students to write and effectively utilize code-based software in a college-level introductory statistics course. Advantages of using software and code-based software in this context are discussed. Suggestions are made on how to ease students into using code with…
Casleton, Emily; Beyler, Amy; Genschel, Ulrike; Wilson, Alyson
Undergraduate students who have just completed an introductory statistics course often lack deep understanding of variability and enthusiasm for the field of statistics. This paper argues that by introducing the commonly underemphasized concept of measurement error, students will have a better chance of attaining both. We further present lecture…
Woods, David M.
Cloud computing is a rapidly emerging topic, but should it be included in an introductory IT course? The magnitude of cloud computing use, especially cloud infrastructure, along with students' limited knowledge of the topic support adding cloud content to the IT curriculum. There are several arguments that support including cloud computing in an…
Piccioni, R. G.
Too often, students in introductory courses are left with the impression that Einstein's special theory of relativity comes into play only when the relative speed of two objects is an appreciable fraction of the speed of light ("c"). In fact, relativistic length contraction, along with Coulomb's law, accounts quantitatively for the force on a…
Green, Tom L.
Purpose: The purpose of this article is to explore sustainability commitments' potential implications for the curriculum of introductory economics courses. Universities have signed the Talloires Declaration, committing themselves to promoting students' environmental literacy and ecological citizenship, thereby creating pressure to integrate…
Pool, Richard F.; Turner, Gregory D.; Böttger, S. Anne
In recent years the need for ecological literacy and problem solving has increased, but there is no evidence that this need is reflected by increased ecology coverage at institutions of higher education (IHE) across the United States. Because introductory biology courses may serve to direct student interest toward particular biological categories…
Walvoord, Barbara E.
A study of sixty-six highly effective teachers of introductory theology and religion courses in various types of institutions reveals very complex challenges for instructors. The majority of students have as a goal their own religious and spiritual development. Faculty members' most frequent goal is critical thinking. Students much less frequently…
Brown, Lora Beth; Larsen, Katrina J.; Nyland, Nora K.; Eggett, Dennis L.
Objective: Describe eating competence, a positive and flexible way of conceptualizing eating attitudes and behaviors, in students enrolled in an introductory nutrition course. Methods: Online completion of the Satter Eating Competence Inventory (ecSI) and self-assessment of eating disorder status by 557 students (343 ages 18-20 years and 180 ages…
Podell, Joel; And Others
Describes various methodologies used at the Queensboro Community College, New York, to enrich some of the topics traditionally included in the introductory course such as union management relations, social responsibility and business ethics, internal organization structure, and small business management. (TA)
Describes use of Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe's novel, "Things Fall Apart," in an introductory geography course at the secondary school or college level. Provides a summary of the book's story, which deals with the impact of colonialism and Christianity on the culture of eastern Nigeria. Includes recommended instructional strategies…
This paper empirically enlists Python plagiarism attacks that have been found on Introductory Programming course assignments for undergraduate students. According to our observation toward 400 plagiarism-suspected cases, there are 35 plagiarism attacks that have been conducted by students. It starts with comment & whitespace modification as…
Full Text Available Background According to the available evidence, problem-based learning (PBL is one of the most successful methods in achieving higher educational objectives. In this method, the discussion about the subjects that should be taught to the students is based on a real clinical case. Various advantages and disadvantages of this method have been addressed in different studies, but the students' attitude toward this method is vita/for its success. Objective To evaluate the students• altitude toward problem- based learning and to compare it with lecture-based learning. Method In this experimental study, two topics of basic immunology were chosen after holding coordination meetings. The students were divided randomly into two groups. Group A received PBL for the first and LBL for the second topic, and group B had LBL for the first and PBL for the second topic. After the last session, a questionnaire was given to the students. Results The students considered PBL as superior in view of the student's active role in education. According to the students' opinion, group working was more evident in PBL. Although they preferred LBL to be used in a complete immunology course, they suggested that PBL is good to be used in some of the sessions. They suggested that although the learner's role is more evident in PBL, the instructor's role is still significant. They believed that self-assessment is better and easier in PBL. Discussion According to the results it is clear that, at least in some aspects, the students' attitude toward PBL is positive. This shows that by considering these aspects in educational reform programs, and by further study on the items not definitely determined in this research, we could modify PBL so that it could be used in a broader level. Key Words: problem-based learning, lecture-based learning, Attitude
Gurung, Regan A R; Hackathorn, Jana; Enns, Carolyn; Frantz, Susan; Cacioppo, John T; Loop, Trudy; Freeman, James E
Introductory psychology (Intro Psych) is one of the most popular and frequently taught courses on college campuses, yet educators in psychology have limited knowledge about what is covered in classes around the nation or the extent to which class content reflects the current scope of the discipline. There is no explicit model to guide course content selection for the intro course, which poses substantial challenges for instructors. This article proposes a new model for teaching the intro course that integrates (a) scientific foundations, (b) 5 major domains or pillars of knowledge (biological, cognitive, developmental, social and personality, and mental and physical health), and (c) cross-cutting themes relevant to all domains (cultural and social diversity, ethics, variations in human functioning, and applications; American Psychological Association, 2014). We advocate for national assessment of the course, a similar introductory course for majors and nonmajors, the inclusion of experiential or laboratory components, and additional training resources for instructors of the intro course. Given the exponential growth of psychological knowledge and applications during the past decades, we caution against attempting to provide exhaustive coverage of all topic areas of psychology in a one-semester course. We conclude by discussing the challenges that lie ahead for the discipline of psychology as it launches this new model for Intro Psych. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Esslinger, Keri A.; Grimes, Amanda R.; Pyle, Elizabeth
In this study, we investigated students' attitudes toward physical activity (PA) when including a required PA component in a university-required personal wellness class. The study included (a) an experimental group of students enrolled in a personal wellness course in which there was a required PA requirement and (b) a control group of students…
For the first time since the CERN Accelerator School (CAS) was set up, the 'Introduction to Accelerator Physics' course was held in Zakopane, Poland. This course was organised together with the National Atomic Energy Agency, Warsaw, and the AGH University of Science and Technology, Cracow, and was held from 1-13 October 2006 at the foot of the Tatra Mountains. The course was very well attended with 113 participants representing 26 different nationalities. Although most of the participants originated from Europe, some students came from countries as far away as Canada, China, India and North America. The intensive programme comprised 35 lectures, 3 seminars given by local Polish lecturers, 5 tutorials where the students were split into four groups, a poster session where students could present their own work and 7 hours of guided and private study. The participants appreciated these study periods, which encouraged collaboration and knowledge-sharing in solving problems and gave them the opportunity to get t...
Pal, Palash B
For graduate students unfamiliar with particle physics, this text teaches the basic techniques and fundamental theories related to the subject. It gives them the competence to work out various properties of fundamental particles, such as scattering cross-section and lifetime. The book also gives a lucid summary of the main ideas involved. Figure slides are available upon qualifying course adoption.
The purpose of this study was to determine if course format significantly impacted student learning and course completion rates in an introductory statistics course taught at Harford Community College. In addition to the traditional lecture format, the College offers an online, and a hybrid (blend of traditional and online) version of this class.…
Rubenking, Bridget; Dodd, Melissa
Previous research suggests that undergraduate research methods students doubt the utility of course content and experience math and research anxiety. Research also suggests involving students in hands-on, applied research activities, although empirical data on the scope and nature of these activities are lacking. This study compared academic…
Jennifer M. Wenner
Full Text Available We present the case for introductory geoscience courses as model venues for increasing the quantitative literacy (QL of large numbers of the college-educated population. The geosciences provide meaningful context for a number of fundamental mathematical concepts that are revisited several times in a single course. Using some best practices from the mathematics education community surrounding problem solving, calculus reform, pre-college mathematics and five geoscience/math workshops, geoscience and mathematics faculty have identified five pedagogical ideas to increase the QL of the students who populate introductory geoscience courses. These five ideas include techniques such as: place mathematical concepts in context, use multiple representations, use technology appropriately, work in groups, and do multiple-day, in-depth problems that place quantitative skills in multiple contexts. We discuss the pedagogical underpinnings of these five ideas and illustrate some ways that the geosciences represent ideal places to use these techniques. However, the inclusion of QL in introductory courses is often met with resistance at all levels. Faculty who wish to include quantitative content must use creative means to break down barriers of public perception of geoscience as qualitative, administrative worry that enrollments will drop and faculty resistance to change. Novel ways to infuse QL into geoscience classrooms include use of web-based resources, shadow courses, setting clear expectations, and promoting quantitative geoscience to the general public. In order to help faculty increase the QL of geoscience students, a community-built faculty-centered web resource (Teaching Quantitative Skills in the Geosciences houses multiple examples that implement the five best practices of QL throughout the geoscience curriculum. We direct faculty to three portions of the web resource: Teaching Quantitative Literacy, QL activities, and the 2006 workshop website
Poduska, Ervin L.; Lunetta, Vincent N.
To what extent should technology and applied physics be included in introductory physics courses? What is the proper balance between pure and applied physics? Should physics teachers devote precious time to socially relevant issues like nuclear power and alternative sources of energy? How much time should be spent, if any, on applications that are more relevant to the student's world like cars, music, television and refrigeration? Does including applications reduce or enhance student understanding of important classical topics? A response to these questions must be based on goals for physics teaching, on knowledge of how students learn and on the nature of the physics discipline. Since there is not enough time to teach everything in an introductory course, priorities must be determined.
Gary Gladding; Tim Stelzer; Michael Scott
The reliability and validity of professionally written multiple-choice exams have been extensively studied for exams such as the SAT, graduate record examination, and the force concept inventory. Much of the success of these multiple-choice exams is attributed to the careful construction of each question, as well as each response. In this study, the reliability and validity of scores from multiple-choice exams written for and administered in the large introductory physics courses at the Unive...
These proceedings enclose ten papers presented at the 1. European Conference on Neutron scattering (ECNS '96). The aim of the Introductory Course was fourfold: - to learn the basic principles of neutron scattering, - to get introduced into the most important classes of neutron scattering instruments, -to learn concepts and their transformation into neutron scattering experiments in various fields of condensed matter research, - to recognize the limitations of the neutron scattering technique as well as to the complementarity of other methods. figs., tabs., refs
Planinsic, Gorazd; Lindell, Anssi; Remskar, Maja
We present three experimental themes and one discussion theme that proved to be suitable for introducing nanoscience through topics that can be integrated into the existing introductory physics or teacher training courses. The experimental themes include two teaching models of an atomic force microscope (AFM) and an experiment with an elastic optical grating. They are all based on simple experiments that give also quantitative results and can be explained using basic physics theory.
Planinsic, Gorazd [Faculty for Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia); Lindell, Anssi [Department of Teacher Education, University of Jyvaskyla (Finland); Remskar, Maja [Josef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana (Slovenia)
We present three experimental themes and one discussion theme that proved to be suitable for introducing nanoscience through topics that can be integrated into the existing introductory physics or teacher training courses. The experimental themes include two teaching models of an atomic force microscope (AFM) and an experiment with an elastic optical grating. They are all based on simple experiments that give also quantitative results and can be explained using basic physics theory.
Aasma, Ants; Natarajan, P N
In creating this book, the authors' intent was to provide graduate students, researchers, physicists, and engineers with a reasonable introduction to summability theory. Over the course of nine chapters, the authors cover all of the fundamental concepts and equations informing summability theory and its applications, as well as some of its lesser known aspects. Following a brief introduction to the history of summability theory, general matrix methods are introduced, and the Silverman-Toeplitz theorem on regular matrices is discussed. A variety of special summability methods, including the Nörlund method, the Weighted Mean method, the Abel method, and the (C, 1) - method are next examined. An entire chapter is devoted to a discussion of some elementary Tauberian theorems involving certain summability methods. Following this are chapters devoted to matrix transforms of summability and absolute summability domains of reversible and normal methods; the notion of a perfect matrix method; matrix transforms of sum...
Dunbar, R. W.; Egger, A. E.; Schwartz, J. K.
As we bring new research-based learning approaches, curricular innovations, and student engagement practices into the introductory science classroom, expectations of teaching assistants (TAs) should have, and have, changed. Similarly, the 21st century teaching assistant has different expectations of us. Maintaining relevance in this context means bringing TAs into an integrated teaching team that supports effective learning for students and provides structured professional development opportunities for TAs. A number of support efforts on our campus, with counterparts at many other universities, seek to optimize the instructional impact of faculty and teaching assistants, thus opening the door to enhanced student engagement (e.g. the quality of effort students put forth, their persistence in science and/or engineering courses, and their perception of scientific relevance in everyday life). Among these efforts, School of Earth Sciences course development TAs work 1:1 in advance of the term with introductory course faculty to design exercises and course materials that meet clearly articulated student learning goals or pedagogical challenges. Throughout the process, TAs are mentored by the faculty as well as science pedagogy experts. Initially funded by a major teaching award, the School is now moving to institutionalize this successful program which has broadened the definition of the TA role. Another area of optimization, reflecting Shulman's concept of pedagogical content knowledge, is our campus mandate that TA development take place within a departmental, as well as general, context. Both Chemistry and Physics expect introductory course TAs to lead interactive, guided-inquiry or tutorial-style sections. Integrating these sections with lecture and positively reinforcing course goals requires TA buy-in and a set of pedagogical facilitation skills cultivated through course-specific training and active mentoring while teaching. To better support the mentoring process
Sit, S. M.; Brudzinski, M. R.
The recent emphasis in higher education on both student engagement and online learning has encouraged us to work on the development of an active e-learning environment for our ~90 student undergraduate introductory geohazards course. To begin designing our course, we established a set of student learning outcomes (SLOs) focused on key scientific investigation skills, like analyzing data, evaluating hypotheses, and conveying information to peers. We designed these outcomes to provide students with powerful reasoning and critical thinking skills. Along with this new framework and increased student expectations, we found it beneficial to additionally establish student development outcomes (SDOs). Specifically, SDOs were constructed to address self-evaluation, student responsibility for learning, and valuing group work. Based on these new SLOs and SDOs, we developed a set of course components that engaged students in content, authentic scientific investigations, and group discussions, all within an online environment. The course includes common online learning features like video lectures and comprehension quizzes, but also uses 50% of class periods for student investigation assignments that are conducted using Google Earth and Microsoft Excel. For those assignments, students commonly utilize a short video tutorial demonstrating a new software skill and then apply that knowledge towards investigating topics such as predicting population growth in India or identifying types of volcanoes observed in Hawaii. Results from multiple semesters of teaching both a hybrid and completely online course show significant gains in the geoscience concept inventory over traditional and redesigned face-to-face courses. Additionally, student survey and evaluation data show that our online course improves on SLOs and SDOs when compared to a traditional lecture based course and achieve similar results to a redesigned face-to-face course focused on engagement. In particular, at the end of
Debari, S. M.; Bachmann, J.; Dougan, B.; Fackler-Adams, B.; Kratz, R.; Linneman, S.; Plake, T.; Smith, B.
sequence is taught at a 4-year university as well as at four regional feeder community colleges. These courses model an inquiry-based teaching methodology that our pre-service teachers will use to teach science to their future students. Both quantitative and qualitative assessment data collected from our students show impressive gains both in attitudes about science and science content, especially compared to larger lecture-based introductory courses.
Harris, D J; Hammond, P
The Physical Basis of Electronics: An Introductory Course, Second Edition is an 11-chapter text that discusses the physical concepts of electronic devices. This edition deals with the considerable advances in electronic techniques, from the introduction of field effect transistors to the development of integrated circuits. The opening chapters discuss the fundamentals of vacuum electronics and solid-state electronics. The subsequent chapters deal with the other components of electronic devices and their functions, including semiconductor diode and transistor as an amplifier and a switch. The d
Scott, Amy N.; McNair, Delores E.; Lucas, Jonathan C.; Land, Kirkwood M.
Introductory science, math, and engineering courses often have problems related to student engagement, achievement, and course completion. To begin examining these issues in greater depth, this pilot study compared student engagement, achievement, and course completion in a small and large section of an introductory biology class. Results based on…
Thompson, Meredith M.; Pastorino, Lucia; Lee, Star; Lipton, Paul
Introductory science courses play a critical role in the recruitment and retention of undergraduate science majors. In particular, first-year courses are opportunities to engage students in scientific practices and motivate them to consider scientific careers. We developed an introductory course using a semester-long series of established…
Engleberg, Isa N.; Ward, Susan M.; Disbrow, Lynn M.; Katt, James A.; Myers, Scott A.; O'Keefe, Patricia
In most academic disciplines, there is "one" introductory course that presents an overview of the discipline and introduces fundamental, discipline-specific principles and competencies. However, in Communication Studies, the discipline recognizes and offers multiple course options that may serve as the introductory course. This project…
Full Text Available Principles of active learning were used to design and implement an introductory public health course. Students were introduced to the breadth and practice of public health through team and individual-based activities. Team assignments covered topics in epidemiology, biostatistics, health behavior, nutrition, maternal and child health, environment, and health policy. Students developed an appreciation of the population perspective through an experience trip and related intervention project in a public health area of their choice. Students experienced several key critical component elements of a public health undergraduate major; they cover key public health domains, experience public health practice, and integrated concepts with their assignments. In this paper, course assignments, lessons learned, and student successes are described. Given the increased growth in the undergraduate public health major, these active learning assignments may be of interest to undergraduate public health programs at both liberal arts colleges and research universities.
Manduca, C. A.; MacDonald, R. H.; Merritts, D.; Savina, M.
Introductory courses are one of the most challenging teaching environments for geoscience faculty. Courses are often large, students have a wide variety of background and skills, and student motivation can include completing a geoscience major, preparing for a career as teacher, fulfilling a distribution requirement, and general interest. The Starting Point site (http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/index.html) provides help for faculty teaching introductory courses by linking together examples of different teaching methods that have been used in entry-level courses with information about how to use the methods and relevant references from the geoscience and education literature. Examples span the content of geoscience courses including the atmosphere, biosphere, climate, Earth surface, energy/material cycles, human dimensions/resources, hydrosphere/cryosphere, ocean, solar system, solid earth and geologic time/earth history. Methods include interactive lecture (e.g think-pair-share, concepTests, and in-class activities and problems), investigative cases, peer review, role playing, Socratic questioning, games, and field labs. A special section of the site devoted to using an Earth System approach provides resources with content information about the various aspects of the Earth system linked to examples of teaching this content. Examples of courses incorporating Earth systems content, and strategies for designing an Earth system course are also included. A similar section on Teaching with an Earth History approach explores geologic history as a vehicle for teaching geoscience concepts and as a framework for course design. The Starting Point site has been authored and reviewed by faculty around the country. Evaluation indicates that faculty find the examples particularly helpful both for direct implementation in their classes and for sparking ideas. The help provided for using different teaching methods makes the examples particularly useful. Examples are chosen from
Yong, Darryl; Levy, Rachel; Lape, Nancy
Flipped classrooms have the potential to improve student learning and metacognitive skills as a result of increased time for active learning and group work and student control over pacing, when compared with traditional lecture-based courses. We are currently running a 4-year controlled study to examine the impact of flipping an Introductory…
The integrative nature of Earth System Science courses provides extensive opportunities to introduce students to geoethical inquiry focused on globally significant societal issues. Geoscience education has traditionally lagged in its efforts to increase student awareness of the significance of geologic knowledge to understanding and responsibly confronting causes and possible solutions for emergent, newly emerging, and future problems of anthropogenic cause and consequence. Developing an understanding of the human impact on the earth system requires early (lower division) and for geoscience majors, repeated (upper division) curricular emphasis on the interactions of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and pedosphere across space and through time. Capturing the interest of university students in globally relevant earth system issues and their ethical dimensions while first learning about the earth system is an important initial step in bringing geoethical deliberation and awareness to the next generation of geoscientists. Development of a new introductory Earth System Science course replacing a traditional introductory Physical Geology course at Montana State University has involved abandonment of concept-based content organization in favor of a place-based approach incorporating examination of the complex interactions of earth system components and emergent issues and dilemmas deriving from the unique component interactions that characterize each locale. Thirteen different place-based week-long modules (using web- and classroom-based instruction) were developed to ensure cumulative broad coverage across the earth geographically and earth system components conceptually. Each place-based instructional module contains content of societal relevance requiring synthesis, critical evaluation, and reflection by students. Examples include making linkages between deforestation driven by economics and increased seismicity in Haiti, agriculture and development
McKinnon, Mark Lee
Cognitive research has indicated that the difference between males and females is negligible. Paradoxically, in traditionally-taught college level introductory physics courses, males have outperformed females. UC Davis' Physics 7A (the first class of a three-quarter Introduction to Physics sequence for Life-Science students), however, counters this trend since females perform similarly to males. The gender-based performance difference within the other two quarters (Physics 7B & 7C) of the radically restructured, active-learning physics sequence still echo the traditionally-taught courses. In one experiment, I modified the laboratory activity instructions of the Physics 7C course to encourage further group interaction. These modifications did not affect the gender-based performance difference. In a later experiment, I compared students' performance on different forms of assessment for certain physics concepts during the Physics 7C course. Over 500 students took weekly quizzes at different times. The students were given different quiz questions on the same topics. Several quiz questions seemed to favor males while others were more gender equitable. I highlighted comparisons between a few pairs of questions that assessed students' understanding of the same physical concept. Males tended to perform better in responding to questions that seemed to require spatial visualization. Questions that required greater understanding of the physical concept or scientific model were more gender neutral.
Momsen, Jennifer L.; Long, Tammy M.; Wyse, Sara A.; Ebert-May, Diane
Introductory biology courses are widely criticized for overemphasizing details and rote memorization of facts. Data to support such claims, however, are surprisingly scarce. We sought to determine whether this claim was evidence-based. To do so we quantified the cognitive level of learning targeted by faculty in introductory-level biology courses.…
Moss, Elizabeth; Cervato, Cinzia
As part of a campus-wide effort to transform introductory science courses to be more engaging and more accurately convey the excitement of discovery in science, the curriculum of an introductory physical geology lab course was redesigned. What had been a series of ''cookbook'' lab activities was transformed into a sequence of activities based on…
Rajpaul, Vinesh; Allie, Saalih; Blyth, Sarah-Louise
We report on research carried out to improve teaching and student engagement in the introductory astronomy course at the University of Cape Town. This course is taken by a diverse range of students, including many from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. We describe the development of an instrument, the Introductory Astronomy Questionnaire…
Amstelveen, Raoul H.
The purpose of this study was to design and implement a Classroom Response System, also known as a "clicker," to increase attendance in introductory statistics courses at an undergraduate university. Since 2010, non-attendance had been prevalent in introductory statistics courses. Moreover, non-attendance created undesirable classrooms…
Chen, Qihui; Okediji, Tade O.
In this article, the authors illustrate how incentives can improve student performance in introductory economics courses. They implemented a policy experiment in a large introductory economics class in which they reminded students who scored below an announced cutoff score on the midterm exam about the risk of failing the course. The authors…
Crockett, G. V.
Describes course format, materials development, and evaluation of an introductory economics course which stressed problem solving techniques and conceptual skills instead of rote memorization of factual content. For journal availability, see SO 506 029. (AV)
Lee, Albert H.
Many educators understand that lectures are cost effective but not learning efficient, so continue to search for ways to increase active student participation in this traditionally passive learning environment. In-class polling systems, or "clickers", are inexpensive and reliable tools allowing students to actively participate in lectures by answering multiple-choice questions. Students assess their learning in real time by observing instant polling summaries displayed in front of them. This in turn motivates additional discussions which increase the opportunity for active learning. We wanted to develop a comprehensive clicker methodology that creates an active lecture environment for a broad spectrum of students taking introductory physics courses. We wanted our methodology to incorporate many findings of contemporary learning science. It is recognized that learning requires active construction; students need to be actively involved in their own learning process. Learning also depends on preexisting knowledge; students construct new knowledge and understandings based on what they already know and believe. Learning is context dependent; students who have learned to apply a concept in one context may not be able to recognize and apply the same concept in a different context, even when both contexts are considered to be isomorphic by experts. On this basis, we developed question sequences, each involving the same concept but having different contexts. Answer choices are designed to address students preexisting knowledge. These sequences are used with the clickers to promote active discussions and multiple assessments. We have created, validated, and evaluated sequences sufficient in number to populate all of introductory physics courses. Our research has found that using clickers with our question sequences significantly improved student conceptual understanding. Our research has also found how to best measure student conceptual gain using research-based instruments
The introductory Astronomy course can be enriched by adding a service learning component to it. This enables students to interact with and educate the general public about matters of outer space. At Slippery Rock University we have incorporated this idea into our Astronomy and Space Science courses. Working in groups, the students do a presentation which is often interdisciplinary. Frequently the department gets requests from schools to do a show specifically tailored to a topic like the solar system or constellations. Such projects are beneficial to students in many ways. They demand a thorough knowledge of the subject matter so as to communicate to the audience in a clear and nontechnical manner. The students also experience first hand the difficulties involved in coordinating a group effort. They learn to take responsibility for their allocated part and how to combine effectively to make the entire show a success. Interacting with various age groups demands a versatility in planning content and public speaking skills not easily available elsewhere in a traditional education. Our planetarium facilities help in attracting diverse audiences from preschoolers to senior citizens. Performance in these shows constitutes twenty five percent of course grade. Feedback from audience groups helps refine future shows by subsequent student cohorts.
Holstein, Sarah E.; Mickley Steinmetz, Katherine R.; Miles, John D.
One challenge that many neuroscience instructors face is how to teach students to communicate within the field. The goal of this project was to improve students’ scientific writing in an introductory psychology laboratory course that serves as a feeder course into the neuroscience curriculum. This course included a scaffolded approach - breaking assignments into different sections that build upon each other to allow for more direction and feedback on each section. Students were also provided with examples of scientific writing, given direction on finding and reading journal articles, and were taught how to effectively peer review a paper. Research papers were assessed before (Year 1) and after (Year 2) this scaffolded approach was instituted. The assessment included measures of “Genre Knowledge” for each section of a research paper (abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion) as well as measures of “Writing Elements” (grammar, formatting, clarity, transitions, building to the hypothesis, using evidence). The results indicated that there was an improvement for Genre Knowledge scores when comparing Year 1 to Year 2. However, there was no systematic improvement in Writing Elements. This suggests that this teaching technique was most effective in improving students’ ability to write within the scientific genre. The logistics of implementing such an approach are discussed. PMID:25838801
Hall, Nicholas; Webb, David
The role of autonomy in the student experience in a large-enrollment undergraduate introductory physics course was studied from a self-determination theory perspective. A correlational study investigated whether certain aspects of the student experience correlated with how autonomy supportive (versus controlling) students perceived their instructors to be. An autonomy-supportive instructor acknowledges students' perspectives and feelings and provides students with information and opportunities for choice while minimizing external pressures (e.g., incentives or deadlines). It was found that the degree to which students perceived their instructors as autonomy supportive was positively correlated with student interest and enjoyment in learning physics (β =0.31***) and negatively correlated with student anxiety about taking physics (β =-0.23**). It was also positively correlated with how autonomous (versus controlled) students' reasons for studying physics became over the duration of the course (i.e., studying physics more because they wanted to versus had to; β =0.24***). This change in autonomous reasons for studying physics was in turn positively correlated with student performance in the course (β =0.17*). Additionally, the degree to which students perceived their instructors as autonomy supportive was directly correlated with performance for those students entering the course with relatively autonomous reasons for studying physics (β =0.25**). In summary, students who perceived their instructors as more autonomy supportive tended to have a more favorable motivational, affective, and performance experience in the course. The findings of the present study are consistent with experimental studies in other contexts that argue for autonomy-supportive instructor behaviors as the cause of a more favorable student experience.
Gröber, Sebastian; Klein, Pascal; Kuhn, Jochen
Introductory mechanics physics courses at the transition from school to university are a challenge for students. They are faced with an abrupt and necessary increase of theoretical content and requirements on their conceptual understanding of phyiscs. In order to support this transition we replaced part of the mandatory weekly theory-based paper-and-pencil problems with video analysis problems of equal content and level of difficulty. Video-based problems (VBP) are a new problem format for teaching physics from a linked sequence of theoretical and video-based experimental tasks. Experimental tasks are related to the well-known concept of video motion analysis. This introduction of an experimental part in recitations allows the establishment of theory–experiment interplay as well as connections between physical content and context fields such as nature, technique, everyday life and applied physics by conducting model-and context-related experiments. Furthermore, laws and formulas as predominantly representative forms are extended by the use of diagrams and vectors. In this paper we give general reasons for this approach, describe the structure and added values of VBP, and show that they cover a relevant part of mechanics courses at university. Emphasis is put on theory–experiment interplay as a structural added value of VBP to promote students' construction of knowledge and conceptual understanding. (paper)
Full Text Available The reliability and validity of professionally written multiple-choice exams have been extensively studied for exams such as the SAT, graduate record examination, and the force concept inventory. Much of the success of these multiple-choice exams is attributed to the careful construction of each question, as well as each response. In this study, the reliability and validity of scores from multiple-choice exams written for and administered in the large introductory physics courses at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign were investigated. The reliability of exam scores over the course of a semester results in approximately a 3% uncertainty in students’ total semester exam score. This semester test score uncertainty yields an uncertainty in the students’ assigned letter grade that is less than 1 / 3 of a letter grade. To study the validity of exam scores, a subset of students were ranked independently based on their multiple-choice score, graded explanations, and student interviews. The ranking of these students based on their multiple-choice score was found to be consistent with the ranking assigned by physics instructors based on the students’ written explanations ( r>0.94 at the 95% confidence level and oral interviews (r=0.94−0.09+0.06 .
Brewe, Eric; Dou, Remy; Shand, Robert
Although active learning is supported by strong evidence of efficacy in undergraduate science instruction, institutions of higher education have yet to embrace comprehensive change. Costs of transforming instruction are regularly cited as a key factor in not adopting active-learning instructional practices. Some cite that alternative methods to stadium-style, lecture-based education are not financially viable to an academic department. This paper examines that argument by presenting an ingredients approach to estimating costs of two instructional methods used in introductory university physics courses at a large public U.S. university. We use a metric common in educational economics, cost effectiveness (CE), which is the total cost per student passing the class. We then compare the CE of traditional, passive-learning lecture courses to those of a well-studied, active-learning curriculum (Modeling Instruction) as a way of evaluating the claim that active learning is cost prohibitive. Our findings are that the Modeling Instruction approach has a higher cost per passing student (MI = 1 ,030 /passing student vs Trad = 790 /passing student). These results are discussed from perspectives of university administrators, students, and taxpayers. We consider how MI would need to adapt in order to make the benefits of active learning (particularly higher pass rates and gains on multiple measured student outcomes) available in a cost-neutral setting. This approach aims to provide a methodology to better inform decision makers balancing financial, personnel, and curricular considerations.
Full Text Available Although active learning is supported by strong evidence of efficacy in undergraduate science instruction, institutions of higher education have yet to embrace comprehensive change. Costs of transforming instruction are regularly cited as a key factor in not adopting active-learning instructional practices. Some cite that alternative methods to stadium-style, lecture-based education are not financially viable to an academic department. This paper examines that argument by presenting an ingredients approach to estimating costs of two instructional methods used in introductory university physics courses at a large public U.S. university. We use a metric common in educational economics, cost effectiveness (CE, which is the total cost per student passing the class. We then compare the CE of traditional, passive-learning lecture courses to those of a well-studied, active-learning curriculum (Modeling Instruction as a way of evaluating the claim that active learning is cost prohibitive. Our findings are that the Modeling Instruction approach has a higher cost per passing student (MI=$1,030/passing student vs Trad=$790/passing student. These results are discussed from perspectives of university administrators, students, and taxpayers. We consider how MI would need to adapt in order to make the benefits of active learning (particularly higher pass rates and gains on multiple measured student outcomes available in a cost-neutral setting. This approach aims to provide a methodology to better inform decision makers balancing financial, personnel, and curricular considerations.
Nagy, Péter; Tasnádi, Péter
Investigation of chaotic motions and cooperative systems offers a magnificent opportunity to involve modern physics into the basic course of mechanics taught to engineering students. In the present paper it will be demonstrated that Zeeman Machine can be a versatile and motivating tool for students to get introductory knowledge about chaotic motion via interactive simulations. It works in a relatively simple way and its properties can be understood very easily. Since the machine can be built easily and the simulation of its movement is also simple the experimental investigation and the theoretical description can be connected intuitively. Although Zeeman Machine is known mainly for its quasi-static and catastrophic behaviour, its dynamic properties are also of interest with its typical chaotic features. By means of a periodically driven Zeeman Machine a wide range of chaotic properties of the simple systems can be demonstrated such as bifurcation diagrams, chaotic attractors, transient chaos and so on. The main goal of this paper is the presentation of an interactive learning material for teaching the basic features of the chaotic systems through the investigation of the Zeeman Machine.
Nagy, P.; Tasnádi, P.
Investigation of chaotic motions and cooperative systems offers a magnificent opportunity to involve modern physics into the basic course of mechanics taught to engineering students. In the present paper it will be demonstrated that Zeeman Machine can be a versatile and motivating tool for students to get introductory knowledge about chaotic motion via interactive simulations. It works in a relatively simple way and its properties can be understood very easily. Since the machine can be built easily and the simulation of its movement is also simple the experimental investigation and the theoretical description can be connected intuitively. Although Zeeman Machine is known mainly for its quasi-static and catastrophic behaviour, its dynamic properties are also of interest with its typical chaotic features. By means of a periodically driven Zeeman Machine a wide range of chaotic properties of the simple systems can be demonstrated such as bifurcation diagrams, chaotic attractors, transient chaos and so on. The main goal of this paper is the presentation of an interactive learning material for teaching the basic features of the chaotic systems through the investigation of the Zeeman Machine. 1. –
Full Text Available Background According to the available evidence and experiments, problem-based learning is one of the most successful methods to achieve higher educational objectives. In this method, the discussion about the medical subjects to be learned by the students is based on a real clinical case and participation of the students. Various advantages and disadvantages of this method have been addressed in different studies. Purpose In order to evaluate the effect of this method in our educational framework, we compare two educational methods, problem-based learning and lecture-based learning, in terms of students• education and recall. Methods It is an experimental study. Two topics of basic immunology were chosen after holding discussion meetings. The students were divided randomly into two groups. Each topic was taught to the two groups of students using both methods alternately. Students' educational achievement was evaluated with pre-test and post-test exams. Four weeks after these sessions, short-assay exams were used to evaluate the students' recall. Results The difference of pre-test results between the two groups was not statistically significant, whereas the difference of post-test scores was statistically significant. There was no statistically significant difference in the students' recall between the two groups. Conclusion Considering the exchange of two methods between the two groups, the effect of personal differences was eliminated in this study, and since there is no significant difference in the pre-test scores, the difference of post-test results could be related to the effect of PBL. According to the results of this study and with conducting additional experiments, the problem-based learning could be adjusted with the specific educational framework in our country. Keywords: problem-based learning, lecture-based learning, education, recall
Switzer, Paul V.; Fritz, Ann H.
Presents a hands-on, investigative lab activity for use in an introductory zoology course. Tests the behavioral hypothesis that substrate texture affects earthworm locomotor ability. Provides background information on earthworm locomotion followed by details of the lab exercise. (NB)
This report presents materials that can be used as the basis for a module on signalized intersections in the introductory : course in transportation engineering. The materials were developed based on studies of the work of students who took : this in...
Sweeney, M. Jane Barr; And Others
This survey examined class size, teaching methods, and the one-semester/two-semester organization of the introductory economics course. Student satisfaction with respect to their institution was also studied. (Author/RM)
Evans, Heather K.
In this article, the author addresses both the costs and benefits of implementing clickers into an introductory political science course. Comparing student responses to a mid-semester survey in both a clicker and non-clicker course, the results show that students have higher satisfaction of the course and instructor, higher exam scores, and feel…
An introductory media studies course is a staple of post-secondary education. What are instructors teaching in this course, and to what extent are the principles of media literacy education being incorporated into this likely home? This article reports the findings of a small survey of instructors, who describe aspects of their course content and…
This paper examines whether a blended course that introduces lower-level education online learned by students before they come into class and after class online assignments and online discussions enhances student performance for an introductory principles of accounting course over the period 2009-2010. The blended course design includes (1)…
Najor, Michele A.; Motschall, Melissa
Describes how the authors use a broad-based, client-centered model to teach an introductory course in public relations, integrating writing assignments for "clients" into course topics, which include history, ethics, theory, research, program planning, publicity, crisis management, and evaluation methods. Discusses course objectives, and notes…
Green, Jennifer L.; Blankenship, Erin E.
We developed an introductory statistics course for pre-service elementary teachers. In this paper, we describe the goals and structure of the course, as well as the assessments we implemented. Additionally, we use example course work to demonstrate pre-service teachers' progress both in learning statistics and as novice teachers. Overall, the…
Haughton, Jonathan; Kelly, Alison
Approximately 600 undergraduates completed an introductory business statistics course in 2013 in one of two learning environments at Suffolk University, a mid-sized private university in Boston, Massachusetts. The comparison group completed the course in a traditional classroom-based environment, whereas the treatment group completed the course in…
Schau, Candace; Emmioglu, Esma
We examined the attitudes of about 2200 students enrolled in 101 sections of post-secondary introductory statistics service courses located across the United States. Using the "Survey of Attitudes Toward Statistics-36," we assessed students' attitudes when they entered and left their courses, as well as changes in attitudes across their courses.…
Momsen, Jennifer L; Long, Tammy M; Wyse, Sara A; Ebert-May, Diane
Introductory biology courses are widely criticized for overemphasizing details and rote memorization of facts. Data to support such claims, however, are surprisingly scarce. We sought to determine whether this claim was evidence-based. To do so we quantified the cognitive level of learning targeted by faculty in introductory-level biology courses. We used Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives to assign cognitive learning levels to course goals as articulated on syllabi and individual items on high-stakes assessments (i.e., exams and quizzes). Our investigation revealed the following: 1) assessment items overwhelmingly targeted lower cognitive levels, 2) the cognitive level of articulated course goals was not predictive of the cognitive level of assessment items, and 3) there was no influence of course size or institution type on the cognitive levels of assessments. These results support the claim that introductory biology courses emphasize facts more than higher-order thinking.
Magloughlin, J. F.
For the past several years, I have been creating short videos for use in large-enrollment introductory physical geology classes. The motivation for this project included 1) lack of appropriate depth in existing videos, 2) engagement of non-science students, 3) student indifference to traditional textbooks, 4) a desire to share the visual splendor of geology through virtual field trips, and 5) a desire to meld photography, animation, narration, and videography in self-contained experiences. These (HD) videos are information-intensive but short, allowing a focus on relatively narrow topics from numerous subdisciplines, incorporation into lectures to help create variety while minimally interrupting flow and holding students' attention, and manageable file sizes. Nearly all involve one or more field locations, including sites throughout the western and central continental U.S., as well as Hawaii, Italy, New Zealand, and Scotland. The limited scope of the project and motivations mentioned preclude a comprehensive treatment of geology. Instead, videos address geologic processes, locations, features, and interactions with humans. The videos have been made available via DVD and on-line streaming. Such a project requires an array of video and audio equipment and software, a broad knowledge of geology, very good computing power, adequate time, creativity, a substantial travel budget, liability insurance, elucidation of the separation (or non-separation) between such a project and other responsibilities, and, preferably but not essentially, the support of one's supervisor or academic unit. Involving students in such projects entails risks, but involving necessary technical expertise is virtually unavoidable. In my own courses, some videos are used in class and/or made available on-line as simply another aspect of the educational experience. Student response has been overwhelmingly positive, particularly when expectations of students regarding the content of the videos is made
Vu, Viet Quoc
STEM education reform in higher education is framed around the need to improve student learning outcomes, increase student retention, and increase the number of underrepresented minorities and female students in STEM fields, all of which would ultimately contribute to America's competitiveness and prosperity. To achieve these goals, education reformers call for an increase in the adoption of research-based "promising practices" in classrooms. Despite efforts to increase the adoption of more promising practices in classrooms, postsecondary instructors are still likely to lecture and use traditional teaching approaches. To shed light on this adoption dilemma, a mix-methods study was conducted. First, instructional practices in large introductory STEM courses were identified, followed by an analysis of factors that inhibit or contribute to the use of promising practices. Data were obtained from classroom observations (N = 259) of large gateway courses across STEM departments and from instructor interviews (N = 67). Results show that instructors are already aware of promising practices and that change strategies could move from focusing on the development and dissemination of promising practices to focusing on improving adoption rates. Teaching-track instructors such as lecturers with potential for security of employment (LPSOE) and lecturers with security of employment (LSOE) have adopted promising practices more than other instructors. Interview data show that LPSOEs are also effective at disseminating promising practices to their peers, but opinion leaders (influential faculty in a department) are necessary to promote adoption of promising practices by higher ranking instructors. However, hiring more LPSOEs or opinion leaders will not be enough to shift instructional practices. Variations in the adoption of promising practices by instructors and across departments show that any reform strategy needs to be systematic and take into consideration how information is
Li, Jie; Li, Qing Ling; Li, Ji; Chen, Ming Liang; Xie, Hong Fu; Li, Ya Ping; Chen, Xiang
The precise effect and the quality of different cases used in dermatology problem-based learning (PBL) curricula are yet unclear. To prospectively compare the impact of real patients, digital, paper PBL (PPBL) and traditional lecture-based learning (LBL) on academic results and student perceptions. A total of 120 students were randomly allocated into either real-patients PBL (RPBL) group studied via real-patient cases, digital PBL (DPBL) group studied via digital-form cases, PPBL group studied via paper-form cases, or conventional group who received didactic lectures. Academic results were assessed through review of written examination, objective structured clinical examination and student performance scores. A five-point Likert scale questionnaire was used to evaluate student perceptions. Compared to those receiving lectures only, all PBL participants had better results for written examination, clinical examination and overall performance. Students in RPBL group exhibited better overall performance than those in the other two PBL groups. Real-patient cases were more effective in helping develop students' self-directed learning skills, improving their confidence in future patient encounters and encouraging them to learn more about the discussed condition, compared to digital and paper cases. Both real patient and digital triggers are helpful in improving students' clinical problem-handling skills. However, real patients provide greater benefits to students.
Full Text Available Students often receive their first college-level computer training in introductory information systems courses. Students and faculty frequently expect this training to develop a level of student computer competence that will support computer use in future courses. In this study, we applied measures of computer self-efficacy to students in a typical introductory IS course. The measures provided useful evidence that student perceptions of their ability to use computers effectively in the future significantly improved as a result of their training experience. The computer self-efficacy measures also provided enhanced insight into course-related factors of practical concern to IS educators. Study results also suggest computer self-efficacy measures may be a practical and informative means of assessing computer-training outcomes in the introductory IS course context
Matsumura, Mina; Nakayama, Takuto; Sozu, Takashi
A survey of introductory statistics courses at Japanese medical schools was published as a report in 2014. To obtain a complete understanding of the way in which statistics is taught at the university level in Japan, it is important to extend this survey to related fields, including pharmacy, dentistry, and nursing. The current study investigates the introductory statistics courses offered by faculties of pharmaceutical sciences (six-year programs) at Japanese universities, comparing the features of these courses with those studied in the survey of medical schools. We collected relevant data from the online syllabi of statistics courses published on the websites of 71 universities. The survey items included basic course information (for example, the course names, the targeted student grades, the number of credits, and course classification), textbooks, handouts, the doctoral subject and employment status of each lecturer, and course contents. The period surveyed was July-September 2015. We found that these 71 universities offered a total of 128 statistics courses. There were 67 course names, the most common of which was "biostatistics (iryou toukeigaku)." About half of the courses were designed for first- or second-year students. Students earned fewer than two credits. There were 62 different types of textbooks. The lecturers held doctoral degrees in 18 different subjects, the most common being a doctorate in pharmacy or science. Some course content differed, reflecting the lecturers' academic specialties. The content of introductory statistics courses taught in pharmaceutical science programs also differed slightly from the equivalent content taught in medical schools.
Burko, Lior M.
Introductory calculus--based physics textbooks state that electromagnetic waves are transverse and list many of their properties, but most such textbooks do not bring forth arguments why this is so. Both physical and theoretical arguments are at a level appropriate for students of courses based on such books, and could be readily used by instructors of such courses. Here, we discuss two physical arguments (based on polarization experiments and on lack of monopole electromagnetic radiation), and the full argument for the transversality of (plane) electromagnetic waves based on the integral Maxwell equations. We also show, at a level appropriate for the introductory course, why the electric and magnetic fields in a wave are in phase and the relation of their magnitudes. We have successfully integrated this approach in the calculus--based introductory physics course at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Dees, Jonathan; Momsen, Jennifer L.; Niemi, Jarad; Montplaisir, Lisa
Phylogenetic trees are widely used visual representations in the biological sciences and the most important visual representations in evolutionary biology. Therefore, phylogenetic trees have also become an important component of biology education. We sought to characterize reasoning used by introductory biology students in interpreting taxa…
Cappelleri, D. J.; Vitoroulis, N.
This paper presents a series of novel project-based learning labs for an introductory robotics course that are developed into a semester-long Robotic Decathlon. The last three events of the Robotic Decathlon are used as three final one-week-long project tasks; these replace a previous course project that was a semester-long robotics competition.…
Salinas Martínez, N. Patricia; Quintero Rodríguez, Eliud
This in practice paper describes the experience of seven lecturers in a hybrid and flipped version of an introductory mathematics course for higher education. In a Mexican university, lecturers adapted to this innovation supported by an adjusted Massive Open Online Course. The experience revealed the relevance of leaving conventional assessment…
Williams, Satina V.; Schwartz, Bill N.
Accounting faculty surveyed (n=45) did not overwhelmingly support incorporating accounting history into introductory courses, despite Accounting Education Change Commission recommendations. They did not support a separate course or believe history would attract more students. Attitudes of those already including history did not differ greatly from…
Gappa, Judith M.; Pearce, Janice
Developed to help faculty teaching introductory courses in microeconomics, psychology, and sociology in colleges and universities incorporate existing knowledge about women into their course content and teaching practices, this report is organized into two sets of guidelines. The first, "Content Guidelines: Sex and Gender in the Introductory…
Engle, Deborah; Mankoff, Chris; Carbrey, Jennifer
Since Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are accessible by anyone in the world at no cost, they have large enrollments that are conducive to educational research. This study examines students in the Coursera MOOC, Introductory Human Physiology. Of the 33,378 students who accessed the course, around 15,000 students responded to items on the…
Cornell, Collin; LeMon, Joel M.
This study identifies the dominant modes of biblical interpretation being taught in introductory Bible courses through a qualitative analysis of course syllabi from three institutional contexts: evangelical Christian colleges, private colleges, and public universities. Despite a proliferation of methods and scholarly approaches to the Bible, this…
O'Malley, Patrick J.; Agger, Jonathan R.; Anderson, Michael W.
An analysis is presented of the experience and lessons learned of running a MOOC in introductory physical chemistry. The course was unique in allowing students to conduct experimental measurements using a virtual laboratory constructed using video and simulations. A breakdown of the student background and motivation for taking the course is…
Schaller, Chris P.; Graham, Kate J.; Johnson, Brian J.; Jakubowski, Henry V.; McKenna, Anna G.; McIntee, Edward J.; Jones, T. Nicholas; Fazal, M. A.; Peterson, Alicia A.
A one-semester, introductory chemistry course is described that develops a primarily qualitative understanding of structure-property relationships. Starting from an atoms-first approach, the course examines the properties and three-dimensional structure of metallic and ionic solids before expanding into a thorough investigation of molecules. In…
Wachenheim, Cheryl J.
This work was published in the Review of Agricultural Economics. See Wachenheim, C.J. 2009. Final Exam Scores in Introductory Economics Courses: Effect of Course Delivery Method and Proctoring. Review of Agricultural Economics 31(3), pp. 640-652.
Rhodes, Ashley; Rozell, Tim; Shroyer, Gail
Many students who have the ability to succeed in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines are often alienated by the traditional instructional methods encountered within introductory courses; as a result, attrition from STEM fields is highest after completion of these courses. This is especially true for females. The present…
Blessing, Stephen B.; Blessing, Jennifer S.
A capstone experience serves as a culminating exercise for students to assimilate the information learned in a course and to realize how to use the material and skills in different contexts. Both majors and nonmajors benefit from having the material in the introductory course consolidated in such a way, for later study in the field and to more…
Kruse, Gerald; Drews, David
A full-cycle assessment of our efforts to improve quantitative reasoning in an introductory math course is described. Our initial iteration substituted more open-ended performance tasks for the active learning projects than had been used. Using a quasi-experimental design, we compared multiple sections of the same course and found non-significant…
Full Text Available There is a growing shortfall of graduates entering the IT profession. The situation is exacerbated by the continuing decline in the number of women undertaking IT related degrees. However, there are an increasing number of students taking business degrees that have a small information systems component, although few students choose to major in IS. Using a qualitative reflective approach we identify the perceptions and experiences of female undergraduates taking introductory IS courses in two universities, one in Australia and one in New Zealand. We discuss ways of improving the delivery of introductory IS courses in order to make information systems more interesting to women undergraduates, thus enhancing their learning experiences and encouraging further uptake of IS majors. The paper concludes with some reflections on other influences that impact on the ability of IS departments to deliver appropriate introductory courses.
Dake, L. S.
Several years ago I had to select a new textbook for my calculus-based introductory physics class. I subscribe to Just-in-Time Teaching methods,1 which require students to read the book before the material is covered in class. Thus, the readability of the text by the students is critical. However, I did not feel that I was the best judge of this…
Zwolak, Justyna; Brewe, Eric
Society is constantly in flux, which demands the continuous development of our educational system to meet new challenges and impart the appropriate knowledge/skills to students. In order to improve student learning, among other things, the way we are teaching has significantly changed over the past few decades. We are moving away from traditional, lecture-based teaching towards more interactive, engagement-based strategies. A current, major challenge for universities is to increase student retention. While students' academic and social integration into an institution seems to be vital for student retention, research on the effect of interpersonal interactions is rare. I use of network analysis to investigate academic and social experiences of students in and beyond the classroom. In particular, there is a compelling case that transformed physics classes, such as Modeling Instruction (MI), promote persistence by the creation of learning communities that support the integration of students into the university. I will discuss recent results on pattern development in networks of MI students' interactions throughout the semester, as well as the effect of students' position within the network on their persistence in physics.
Full Text Available We report on research carried out to improve teaching and student engagement in the introductory astronomy course at the University of Cape Town. This course is taken by a diverse range of students, including many from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. We describe the development of an instrument, the Introductory Astronomy Questionnaire (IAQ, which we administered as pre- and posttests to students enrolled in the course. The instrument comprised a small number of questions which probed three areas of interest: student motivation and expectations, astronomy content, and worldview. Amongst our findings were that learning gains were made in several conceptual areas, and that students appeared to develop a more nuanced view of the nature of astronomy. There was some evidence that the course had a positive impact on students’ worldviews, particularly their attitudes towards science. We also identified a promising predictor of course success that could in the future be used to identify students requiring special teaching intervention.
Earley, Mark A.
While there is a scattered literature base on teaching research methods courses, there is very little literature that speaks to what and how students learn in research methods courses. Students are often described as coming to the course not seeing its relevance, bringing negative attitudes and low motivation with them. The purpose of this…
a traditional course setup) to a flipped course based on video lecturing and active learning. The results in this paper are, in part, based on the student's reflections about the course held in the fall of 2015. It is concluded that the time is now ripe to flip the classroom, with an implied strengthening...
Dake, L. S.
Several years ago I had to select a new textbook for my calculus-based introductory physics class. I subscribe to Just-in-Time Teaching methods, which require students to read the book before the material is covered in class. Thus, the readability of the text by the students is critical. However, I did not feel that I was the best judge of this factor, so I turned the textbook selection into a class project. The students unanimously chose one textbook, which I have now successfully used for three years. The project was decidedly worthwhile, and I gained considerable insight into what students prefer in a textbook.
Video resources are gradually being introduced in a first year programming course. The course is about imperative programming in C. After each of the first two years with video lectures the students have been asked about their assessments and opinions. The main parts of the paper are based on evi...... experience we also carry out a discussion of future plans for using video resources in the course....
Full Text Available The study is designed to examine students’ perceptions of the introductory Information Systems (IS course. It was an exploratory study in which 67 students participated. A quantitative approach was followed making use of questionnaires for the collection of data. Using the theory of reasoned action as a framework, the study explores the factors that influence non-IS major students’ perceived relevance of the IS introductory course. The analysis of collected data included descriptive and inferential statistics. Using multiple regression analysis, the results suggest that overall, the independent variables, relevance of the content, previous IT knowledge, relevance for professional practice, IT preference in courses and peers’ influence may account for 72% of the explanatory power for the dependent variable, perceived relevance of the IS course. In addition, the results have shown some strong predictors (IT preference and peers’ influence that influence students’ perceived relevance of the IS course. Practical work was found to be a strong mediating variable toward positive perceptions of IS. The results of this study suggest that students do indeed perceive the introductory IS course to be relevant and match their professional needs, but more practical work would enhance their learning. Implications for theory and practice are discussed as a result of the behavioural intention to perceive the IS course to be relevant and eventually to recruit more IS students.
Zeilik, Michael; Bisard, Walter
Reports on students' preexisting knowledge and examines misconceptions among nonscience major undergraduate students. Focuses on evaluating results of misconceptions in selected astronomy courses. (YDS)
O'Connell, Stephen D.; Lang, Guido
A field experiment was conducted to investigate whether personalized e-mail reminders can improve study consistency and learning outcomes in an introductory-level undergraduate course. By randomly assigning whether nearly 300 students would receive occasional e-mail messages encouraging out-of-class study, we find that these reminders increased…
Happ, Roland; Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia, Olga; Schmidt, Susanne
In this article, the authors present the findings of a pretest-posttest measurement of the economic knowledge of students in introductory economics courses in undergraduate study programs in Germany. The responses of 403 students to 14 items selected from the "Test of Economic Literacy" (Soper and Walstad 1987) were analyzed to identify…
Hanyak, Michael E., Jr.
In an introductory chemical engineering course, the conceptual framework of a holistic problem-solving methodology in conjunction with a problem-based learning approach has been shown to create a learning environment that nurtures deep learning rather than surface learning. Based on exam scores, student grades are either the same or better than…
Rosenblatt, Rebecca; Heckler, Andrew F.; Flores, Katharine
We apply a "tutorial design process", which has proven to be successful for a number of physics topics, to design curricular materials or "tutorials" aimed at improving student understanding of important concepts in a university-level introductory materials science and engineering course. The process involves the identification…
Kotru, Sushma; Burkett, Susan L.; Jackson, David Jeff
Active and collaborative learning instruments were introduced into an introductory electrical and computer engineering course. These instruments were designed to assess specific learning objectives and program outcomes. Results show that students developed an understanding comparable to that of more advanced students assessed later in the…
Zacharis, N. Z.
This study investigated the effectiveness of virtual pair programming (VPP) on student performance and satisfaction in an introductory Java course. Students used online tools that integrated desktop sharing and real-time communication, and the metrics examined showed that VPP is an acceptable alternative to individual programming experience.…
Lane, Robert A.
Assesses the benefits resulting from a laboratory field project and report for agricultural students in an introductory crop science course. Student responses to evaluation statements indicated that the project helped them identify crops, understand cultural and management practices, and recognize environmental influences that affect crop…
Wiebold, W. J.; Slaughter, Leon
Reviews a study that examined the effects of laboratories on the grade performance of undergraduates in an introductory crop science course. Results indicated that students enrolled in lecture and laboratory concurrently did not receive higher lecture grades than students enrolled solely in lecture, but did have higher laboratory grades. (ML)
McNeal, Karen S.; Spry, Jacob M.; Mitra, Ritayan; Tipton, Jamie L.
This research examines a semester-long introductory environmental geology course, which emphasized climate science using an Earth systems approach and employed a multipronged teaching strategy comprising lecture, movie viewing, class dialogues, and journaling. Evidence of student engagement during various pedagogical approaches (e.g., movie…
Douma, Elaine L.
Intended for use in a comprehensive senior high school, this curriculum guide for an introductory laboratory course focuses on the development of abilities, attitudes, and personal qualities which would lead to job success at the entry level in the food service industry, including in the areas of cooking, waitressing, supermarkets, and similar…
Strangman, Lauria; Knowles, Elizabeth
In an introductory research methods course, students often develop research questions and hypotheses that are vague or confusing, do not contain measurable concepts, and are too narrow in scope or vision. Because of this, the final research projects often fail to provide useful information or address the overall research problem. A Lesson Study…
Fink, Rachel D.
Discussing the ethical issues involved in topics such as cloning and stem cell research in a large introductory biology course is often difficult. Teachers may be wary of presenting material biased by personal beliefs, and students often feel inhibited speaking about moral issues in a large group. Yet, to ignore what is happening "out there"…
Ractham, Peter; Kaewkitipong, Laddawan; Firpo, Daniel
The major objective of this article is to evaluate via a Design Science Research Methodology (DSRM) the implementation of a Social Constructivist learning framework for an introductory Management Information System (MIS) course. Facebook was used as a learning artifact to build and foster a learning environment, and a series of features and…
Pennell, S.; Avitabile, P.; White, J.
The introductory differential equations course can be made more relevant to engineering students by including more of the engineering viewpoint, in which differential equations are regarded as systems with inputs and outputs. This can be done without sacrificing any of the usual topical coverage. This point of view is conducive to student…
Smith, James J.; Cheruvelil, Kendra Spence; Auvenshine, Stacie
Phylogenetic trees provide visual representations of ancestor-descendant relationships, a core concept of evolutionary theory. We introduced "tree thinking" into our introductory organismal biology course (freshman/sophomore majors) to help teach organismal diversity within an evolutionary framework. Our instructional strategy consisted…
Ernst, Jeremy V.; Clark, Aaron C.
Students in introductory engineering graphics courses at North Carolina State University (NCSU) were asked to complete surveys to help educators and administrators understand their attitudes toward learning and their motivation to learn. Analyses of the completed surveys provided the Graphic Communications Program at NCSU with an understanding of…
Parkinson, Michael G.; Ekachai, Daradirek
Presents the results of a study comparing student reactions to and perceptions of learning in introductory public relations courses using a traditional lecture format and a Socratic approach. Finds significant differences in the two groups showing that students who received the Socratic instruction reported more opportunities in practicing their…
This paper presents a sample assignment to be administered after the first two weeks of an introductory business focused statistics course in order to promote student buy-in. This assignment integrates graphical displays of data, descriptive statistics and cross-tabulation analysis through the lens of a marketing analysis study. A marketing sample…
Björnsdóttir, Auðbjörg; Garfield, Joan; Everson, Michelle
This study explored the use of two different types of collaborative tests in an online introductory statistics course. A study was designed and carried out to investigate three research questions: (1) What is the difference in students' learning between using consensus and non-consensus collaborative tests in the online environment?, (2) What is…
Paul, Warren; Cunnington, R. Clare
We used the Survey of Attitudes Toward Statistics to (1) evaluate using presemester data the Students' Attitudes Toward Statistics Model (SATS-M), and (2) test the effect on attitudes of an introductory statistics course redesigned according to the Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) by examining the change in…
Zimmerman, Whitney Alicia; Kang, Hyun Bin; Kim, Kyung; Gao, Mengzhao; Johnson, Glenn; Clariana, Roy; Zhang, Fan
Over two semesters short essay prompts were developed for use with the Graphical Interface for Knowledge Structure (GIKS), an automated essay scoring system. Participants were students in an undergraduate-level online introductory statistics course. The GIKS compares students' writing samples with an expert's to produce keyword occurrence and…
Tomasetto, Carlo; Matteucci, Maria Cristina; Carugati, Felice; Selleri, Patrizia
Research on academic learning indicates that many students experience major difficulties with introductory statistics and methodology courses. We hypothesized that students' difficulties may depend in part on the fact that statistics tasks are commonly viewed as related to the threatening domain of math. In two field experiments which we carried…
Goldstein, James; Sauer, Paul; O'Donnell, Joseph
Although studies have shown that supplemental instruction (SI) programs can have positive effects in introductory accounting courses, these programs experience low participation rates. Thus, our study is the first to examine the factors leading to student participation in SI programs. We do this through a survey instrument based on the Theory of…
Burko, Lior M.
Introductory calculus-based physics textbooks state that electromagnetic waves are transverse and list many of their properties, but most such textbooks do not bring forth arguments why this is so. Both physical and theoretical arguments are at a level appropriate for students of courses based on such books, and could be readily used by…
Kull, Trent C.
A typical introductory course in ordinary differential equations (ODEs) exposes students to exact solution methods. However, many differential equations must be approximated with numerical methods. Textbooks commonly include explicit methods such as Euler's and Improved Euler's. Implicit methods are typically introduced in more advanced courses…
Pierce, David; Wanless, Elizabeth; Johnson, James
This paper assessed the outcomes of a field experience assignment (FEA) in an introductory sport management course designed as a realistic major preview. Student learning outcomes assessed were commitment to the major, intent to pursue the major, expectation of a career in sports, and perceived preparation for a career in sports. A…
Fryar, Alan E.; Thompson, Karen E.; Hendricks, Susan P.; White, David S.
We have developed and implemented a summary field exercise for an introductory hydrogeology course without a laboratory section. This exercise builds on lectures and problem sets that use pre-existing field data. During one day in April, students measure hydraulic heads, stream and spring flow, and stream-bed seepage within the rural watershed of…
Spiller, Lisa D.; Scovotti, Carol
This study investigates the extent to which educators address direct and interactive marketing concepts in undergraduate introductory marketing courses. As practitioners seek more accountability from their marketing efforts, so too must academia respond with more relevant content. Results from textbook content analysis suggest that direct and…
Drury, Sara A. Mehltretter
The author argues that deliberation is an innovative method for teaching communication skills, particularly group communication, in the undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum. A case study using a deliberation activity on global climate change in an introductory biology course demonstrates how deliberative…
Othman, Mahfudzah; Othman, Muhaini
This paper discusses the proposed model of the collaborative virtual learning system for the introductory computer programming course which uses one of the collaborative learning techniques known as the "Think-Pair-Share". The main objective of this study is to design a model for an online learning system that facilitates the…
Arons, A. B.
Describes special factors and procedures which are utilized in an introductory physical science course for nonscience majors. It is designed to enable students who are at a concrete or transitional stage to attain the formal operational level of development. (Author/SL)
Kontur, F.?J.; de La Harpe, K.; Terry, N.?B.
We examine how student aptitudes impact how much students learn from doing graded online and written homework in an introductory electricity and magnetism course. Our analysis examines the correlation between successful homework completion rates and exam performance as well as how changes in homework completion correlate with changes in exam…
Smith, Deborah N.
This article discusses the use of online asynchronous discussion boards as a valuable tool for connecting students to leadership concepts, theories, and models in introductory leadership survey courses. Recommendations are given for designing effective discussion boards that engage students and enhance their learning. Student outcomes include…
Howard, Jay R.; Novak, Katherine B.; Cline, Krista M. C.; Scott, Marvin B.
Identifying and assessing core knowledge has been and continues to be a challenge that vexes the discipline of sociology. With the adoption of a thematic approach to courses in the core curriculum at Butler University, faculty teaching Introductory Sociology were presented with the opportunity and challenge of defining the core knowledge and…
Mendez, J. A.; Gonzalez, E. J.
This paper presents a significant advance in a reactive blended learning methodology applied to an introductory control engineering course. This proposal was based on the inclusion of a reactive element (a fuzzy-logic-based controller) designed to regulate the workload for each student according to his/her activity and performance. The…
Mendez, Juan A.; Gonzalez, Evelio J.
As it happens in other fields of engineering, blended learning is widely used to teach process control topics. In this paper, the inclusion of a reactive element--a Fuzzy Logic based controller--is proposed for a blended learning approach in an introductory control engineering course. This controller has been designed in order to regulate the…
Strey, S. T.; Charlevoix, D. J.; Guarente, B. A.; Snodgrass, E. R.
We evaluate the learning outcomes of students in large enrollment classes comparing a blended learning course format and a traditional lecture section. Blended learning, here, describes instruction that is a combination of face-to-face meeting with asynchronous online learning, resulting in reduced class time. The course, Severe and Hazardous Weather, relies heavily on graphics and animations of weather events available online, both current and archived, and thereby lends itself well to a blended format. Severe and Hazardous Weather is a popular general education requirement course at the University of Illinois with consistently high enrollments (greater than 200 students per section) and classes at capacity. Unlike many past studies, this blended learning format is applied to a large-enrollment course of approximately 100 students. Curriculum was redesigned during fall 2007 from typical lecture to the blended format. The redesign process followed best practices grounded in peer-reviewed literature on blended and online learning. We will provide a brief overview of the course structure, but focus on the evaluation of both the curriculum design and student outcomes as compared to the traditional lecture-based course. Evaluation is based on course objectives stated in the course syllabus and is conducted following best practices; the research project received University Institutional Review Board approval prior to the start of the study.
This book introduces readers to fundamental concepts in fuzzy logic. It describes the necessary theoretical background and a number of basic mathematical models. Moreover, it makes them familiar with fuzzy control, an important topic in the engineering field. The book offers an unconventional introductory textbook on fuzzy logic, presenting theory together with examples and not always following the typical mathematical style of theorem-corollaries. Primarily intended to support engineers during their university studies, and to spark their curiosity about fuzzy logic and its applications, the book is also suitable for self-study, providing a valuable resource for engineers and professionals who deal with imprecision and non-random uncertainty in real-world applications.
Wisniewski, John P.; Larson, A.
While exoplanet research has witnessed explosive growth over the past decade with over 350 exoplanets identified to date (http://exoplanet.eu), few education and public outreach tools capable of bringing the techniques and results of exoplanet science into the classroom have been developed. To help reduce this shortcoming, we have been developing and implementing a series of exoplanet-related active-learning exercises to be used in non-astronomy major introductory settings, including think-pair-share questions and peer-learning activities. We discuss some of these activities which we have field tested in undergraduate classes at the University of Washington. We also discuss our efforts to engage students in these classes in obtaining and analyzing astronomical observations of exoplanet host stars to identify and characterize exoplanet transit events. JPW acknowledges support from NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship AST 08-02230.
This paper describes the use of the COMPUSTAT database in teaching an introductory course in business finance at a large College of Business Administration. To understand students' attitudes towards this innovative method of instruction in business finance, a simple one-page questionnaire of 10 attitudinal statements was used. Responses of 148 students, analyzed by chi square, indicated students were unanimous in their opinion that the World Wide Web greatly paved the way in data retrieval from the COMPUSTAT database. They further reported that this interface facilitated analyses for the course. Also their understanding of finance was enhanced, and they were motivated to learn more. They seem to be highly in favor of using COMPUSTAT database in the introductory courses in business finance and expressed this view by suggesting that this financial database should be made an integral part of teaching other courses in finance.
Fiegel, Gregg L.
The article describes the process of incorporating a set of learning outcomes into a geotechnical engineering course. The outcomes were developed using Bloom's taxonomy and define the knowledge, skills, and abilities the students are expected to achieve upon completion of the course. Each outcome begins with an action-oriented verb corresponding…
MacDonald, R.; Manduca, C. A.; Mogk, D. W.; Tewksbury, B. J.
The NAGT professional development program "On the Cutting Edge" recently surveyed 7000 geoscience faculty in the United States to develop a snapshot of current instructional practices in undergraduate geoscience courses, faculty strategies for learning new content and new teaching approaches, and faculty involvement in the geoscience education community. Over 2200 faculty responded to the survey which was conducted by the American Institute of Physics. Results for introductory courses (814 responses) indicate that lecture is the most common teaching strategy used in courses of all sizes. Many faculty incorporate some interactive activities in their courses. Most commonly, they use questioning, demonstrations, discussions, and in-class exercises. Less common, but not rare, are small group discussion or think-pair-share and classroom debates or role-playing. Activities involving problem solving, using quantitative skills, working with data and primarily literature, and structured collaboration are incorporated by many faculty in introductory courses, suggesting efforts to teach the process of science. Activities in which students address a problem of national or local interest, analyze their own data, or address problems of their own design are less common but not rare. Field experiences are common but not ubiquitous for students in introductory courses. A wide variety of assessment strategies are used in introductory courses of all sizes, including exams, quizzes, problem sets, papers, oral presentations, and portfolios. While papers are used for assessment more extensively in small classes, a significant number of faculty use papers in large classes (greater than 81 students). A majority of faculty use rubrics in grading. Faculty report that in the past two years, approximately one-third have made changes in the content of their introductory courses while just under half have changed the teaching methods they use. While faculty learn about both new content and
For the first time since the CERN Accelerator School (CAS) was set up, the âﾜIntroduction to Accelerator Physicsâ course was held in Zakopane, Poland.Â This course was organised together with the National Atomic Energy Agency, Warsaw and the AGH University of Science and Technology, Cracow and was held from 1-13 October 2006 at the foot of the Tatra Mountains. The course was very well attended with 113 participants representing 26 different nationalities. Although most of the participants originated from Europe, some students came from countries as far away as Canada, China, India and North America.
Fink, Christian G
A course in computational neuroscience has been developed at Ohio Wesleyan University which requires no previous experience with calculus or computer programming, and which exposes students to theoretical models of neural information processing and techniques for analyzing neural data. The exploration of theoretical models of neural processes is conducted in the classroom portion of the course, while data analysis techniques are covered in lab. Students learn to program in MATLAB and are offered the opportunity to conclude the course with a final project in which they explore a topic of their choice within computational neuroscience. Results from a questionnaire administered at the beginning and end of the course indicate significant gains in student facility with core concepts in computational neuroscience, as well as with analysis techniques applied to neural data.
The exponential growth of qualitative research (QR) has coincided with methodological innovations, the proliferation of qualitative textbooks and journals, and the greater availability of qualitative methods courses. In spite of these advances, the pedagogy for teaching qualitative methods has received little attention. This paper provides a philosophical foundation for teaching QR with active learning strategies and shows how active learning is fully integrated into a one-semester course. The course initiates students into qualitative dispositions and skills as students develop study aims and procedures; enter the field to gather data; analyze the full set of student-generated data; and write results in a final report. Conducting a study in one semester is challenging but has proven feasible and disabuses students of the view that QR is simple, unscientific, or non-rigorous. Student reflections on course assignments are integrated into the paper. The strengths and limitations of this pedagogical approach are also described.
Tesh, Anita S; Hyde, Yolanda M; Kautz, Donald D
This article describes learning strategies used with RN to BSN students in their 1st nursing course to successfully learn how to write formal papers using the American Psychological Association (APA) format. This 1st nursing course, a writing intensive, requires 4 short papers with self, peer, and teacher critiques and opportunities to rewrite. Students learn the style of professional nursing discourse, mastery of APA format, and development of additional skills in following directions and in critiquing their own work. An additional benefit is to enhance learning about professional nursing topics. By mastering writing skills in this initial course, students are able to successfully complete writing assignments in future courses and, in some cases, move on to publication.
Lawrence, K. T.; Malinconico, L. L.
A common challenge in introductory Geoscience courses is engaging students who often do not have a long- standing interest in science. In recent years Hollywood has produced a number of geoscience-themed films (Dante's Peak, Deep Impact, Day After Tomorrow, Inconvenient Truth), most of which contain kernels of scientific truth as well as gross misrepresentations of scientific reality. In our introductory courses (Geological Disasters: Agents of Chaos and Earth's Climate: Past Present and Future) we have had great success using these films as a way of both engaging students and accomplishing many of our course goals. Even though most of the students in these courses will not become geoscience majors, it is important for them to realize that they can make informed judgments about concepts portrayed in the popular media. We have incorporated short written movie critiques into our suite of introductory course laboratory exercises. Through these movie-critique labs, students have an opportunity to apply their new geoscience expertise to examining the validity of the scientific concepts presented in the film. Along the way, students start to see the relevance of course materials to their everyday lives, think more critically about how science is portrayed by non-scientists, synthesize what they have learned by applying their knowledge to a new problem, and improve their ability to communicate what they have learned. Despite the fact that these movie-critique labs require significantly more out-of-lab effort that our other introductory lab assignments, in our course evaluations many students rate the movie critiques as not only one of the most interesting lab exercises of the semester, but also the lab exercise containing the most educational value.
Burko, Lior M
Introductory calculus-based physics textbooks state that electromagnetic waves are transverse and list many of their properties, but most such textbooks do not bring forth arguments why this is so. Both physical and theoretical arguments are at a level appropriate for students of courses based on such books, and could be readily used by instructors of such courses. Here, we discuss two physical arguments (based on polarization experiments and on lack of monopole electromagnetic radiation) and the full argument for the transversality of (plane) electromagnetic waves based on the integral Maxwell equations. We also show, at a level appropriate for the introductory course, why the electric and magnetic fields in a wave are in phase and the relation of their magnitudes
Burko, Lior M.
Introductory calculus-based physics textbooks state that electromagnetic waves are transverse and list many of their properties, but most such textbooks do not bring forth arguments why this is so. Both physical and theoretical arguments are at a level appropriate for students of courses based on such books, and could be readily used by instructors of such courses. Here, we discuss two physical arguments (based on polarization experiments and on lack of monopole electromagnetic radiation) and the full argument for the transversality of (plane) electromagnetic waves based on the integral Maxwell equations. We also show, at a level appropriate for the introductory course, why the electric and magnetic fields in a wave are in phase and the relation of their magnitudes.
Ryan A. Shanks
Full Text Available Introductory biology courses provide an important opportunity to prepare students for future courses, yet existing cookbook labs, although important in their own way, fail to provide many of the advantages of semester-long research experiences. Engaging, authentic research experiences aid biology students in meeting many learning goals. Therefore, overlaying a research experience onto the existing lab structure allows faculty to overcome barriers involving curricular change. Here we propose a working model for this overlay design in an introductory biology course and detail a means to conduct this lab with minimal increases in student and faculty workloads. Furthermore, we conducted exploratory factor analysis of the Experimental Design Ability Test (EDAT and uncovered two latent factors which provide valid means to assess this overlay model’s ability to increase advanced experimental design abilities. In a pre-test/post-test design, we demonstrate significant increases in both basic and advanced experimental design abilities in an experimental and comparison group. We measured significantly higher gains in advanced experimental design understanding in students in the experimental group. We believe this overlay model and EDAT factor analysis contribute a novel means to conduct and assess the effectiveness of authentic research experiences in an introductory course without major changes to the course curriculum and with minimal increases in faculty and student workloads.
Zeilik, Michael, II
Discusses the use of a horoscope-casting laboratory exercise in the astronomy course. Indicates that students can fulfill three objectives: (1) summarize the planetary motions in the geometric universe, (2) be familiar with sidereal and solar time, and (3) be acquainted with the uses ephemerides. (CC)
Rashid, Mamunur; Sarkar, Jyotirmoy
Students in an online statistics course were prone to become increasingly disengaged as the semester progressed. In Spring 2015, we took a proactive measure to retain student engagement by introducing a cyber mentoring session. We describe the framework, operation and effectiveness of cyber mentoring in improving students' learning experience and…
This study examines the level of a student's performance based on incoming knowledge in an intermediate macroeconomic and microeconomic course at a major mid-western university. Analysis of student understanding of specific economic concepts was accessed through the Test of Understanding College Economics, 4th Edition (TUCE) (Walstad,Watts &…
Matsen, F. A.
A course for superior freshmen for both science and liberal arts majors that satisfies the freshman chemistry requirement is discussed. It has been taught for six years and utilizes the new math'' which is based on the elementary concept of a set. A syllabus for the two semesters is included. (DF)
Zhang, Yanqi; Zhou, Liang; Liu, Xiaoyu; Liu, Ling; Wu, Yazhou; Zhao, Zengwei; Yi, Dali; Yi, Dong
Background Although the problem-based learning (PBL) emerged in 1969 and was soon widely applied internationally, the rapid development in China only occurred in the last 10 years. This study aims to compare the effect of PBL and lecture-based learning (LBL) on student course examination results for introductory Chinese undergraduate medical courses. Methods Randomized and nonrandomized controlled trial studies on PBL use in Chinese undergraduate medical education were retrieved through PubMed, the Excerpta Medica Database (EMBASE), Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) and VIP China Science and Technology Journal Database (VIP-CSTJ) with publication dates from 1st January 1966 till 31 August 2014. The pass rate, excellence rate and examination scores of course examination were collected. Methodological quality was evaluated based on the modified Jadad scale. The I-square statistic and Chi-square test of heterogeneity were used to assess the statistical heterogeneity. Overall RRs or SMDs with their 95% CIs were calculated in meta-analysis. Meta-regression and subgroup meta-analyses were also performed based on comparators and other confounding factors. Funnel plots and Egger’s tests were performed to assess degrees of publication bias. Results The meta-analysis included 31studies and 4,699 subjects. Fourteen studies were of high quality with modified Jadad scores of 4 to 6, and 17 studies were of low quality with scores of 1 to 3. Relative to the LBL model, the PBL model yielded higher course examination pass rates [RR = 1.09, 95%CI (1.03, 1.17)], excellence rates [RR = 1.66, 95%CI (1.33, 2.06)] and examination scores [SMD = 0.82, 95%CI (0.63, 1.01)]. The meta-regression results show that course type was the significant confounding factor that caused heterogeneity in the examination-score meta-analysis (t = 0.410, Pteaching model application in introductory undergraduate medical courses can increase course examination excellence rates and scores in
Fogle, Thomas Ty
Research on introductory STEM course performance has indicated that student characteristics (age, ethnicity and gender) and Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) can be predictive of student performance, and by implication, a correlation among these factors can help determine course design interventions to help certain types of students perform well in introductory STEM courses. The basis of this study was a community college Visual Basic programming course taught in both online and hybrid format. Beginning students in this course represented a diverse population residing in a large, mid-western, city and surrounding communities. Many of these students were defined as "at-Risk" or "non-traditional, which generally means any combination of socio-economic, cultural, family and employment factors that indicate a student is non-traditional. Research has shown these students struggle academically in technologically dense STEM courses, and may require student services and support to achieve their individual performance goals. The overall number in the study range was 392 distance students and 287 blended course students. The main question of this research was to determine to what extent student characteristics in a community college context, and previous success, as measured in overall G.P.A., were related to course performance in an introductory Visual Basic programming (STEM) course; and, whether or not a combination of these factors and course modality was predictive of success. The study employed a quantitative, quasi-experimental design to assess whether students' course performance was linked to course modality, student characteristics and overall G.P.A. The results indicated that the only predictor of student performance was overall G.P.A. Despite the research analyzed in Chapter 2, there was no statistically significant relationship to modality, age, ethnicity, or gender to performance in the course. Cognitive load is significant in a computer programming course and it
Full Text Available “The object in view of both my predecessors in office and by myself has been rather to bring out the reasoning powers of individual students, so that they may understand the inner meaning of the old forms and their original function and may develop and modernize and gradually produce an architecture, Indian in character, but at the same time as suited to present day India as the old styles were to their own times and environment.” Claude Batley-1940; Lang, Desai, Desai, 1997 (p.143. The article introduces teaching philosophy, content and method of Basic Design I and II for first year students of architecture at the Faculty of Architecture, Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India. It is framed within the Indian perspective of architectural education from the British colonial times. Commencing with important academic literature and biases of the initial colonial period, it quickly traces architectural education in CEPT, the sixteenth school of post-independent India, set up in 1962, discussing the foundation year teaching imparted. The school was Modernist and avant-garde. The author introduced these two courses against the back drop of the Universalist Modernist credo of architecture and education. In the courses, the primary philosophy behind learning design emerges from heuristic method. The aim of the first course is seen as infusing interest in visual world, development of manual skills and dexterity through the dictum of ‘Look-feel-reason out-evaluate’ and ‘observe-record-interpret-synthesize transform express’. Due to the lack of architectural orientation in Indian schooling; the second course assumes vernacular architecture as a reasonable tool for a novice to understand the triangular relationship of society, architecture and physical context and its impact on design. The students are analytically exposed to the regional variety of architectures logically stemming from the geo
This talk will discuss using the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) to compare student attitudes towards the study of physics of two different groups. Northern Illinois University has two levels of introductory mechanics courses, one geared towards biology majors and pre-health professionals, and one for engineering and physics majors. The course for pre-health professionals is an algebra based course, while the course for engineering and physics majors is a calculus based course. We've adapted the CLASS into a twenty question survey that measures student attitudes towards the practice of and conceptions about physics. The survey is administered as a pre and post assessment to look at student attitudes before and after their first course in physics.
Buxner, Sanlyn; Impey, Chris David; Formanek, Martin; Wenger, Matthew
Introductory astronomy courses are exciting opportunities to engage non-major students in scientific issues, new discoveries, and scientific thinking. Many undergraduate students take these courses to complete their general education requirements. Many free-choice learners also take these courses, but for their own interest. We report on a study comparing the basic science knowledge, interest in science, and information literacy of undergraduate students and free choice learners enrolled in introductory astronomy courses run by the University of Arizona. Undergraduate students take both in-person and online courses for college credit. Free choice learners enroll in massive open online courses (MOOCs), through commercial platforms, that can earn them a certificate (although most do not take advantage of that opportunity). In general, we find that undergraduate students outperform the general public on basic science knowledge and that learners in our astronomy MOOCs outperform the undergraduate students in the study. Learners in the MOOC have higher interest in science in general. Overall, learners in both groups report getting information about science from online sources. Additionally, learners’ judgement of the reliability of different sources of information is weakly related to their basic science knowledge and more strongly related to how they describe what it means to study something scientifically. We discuss the implications of our findings for both undergraduate students and free-choice learners as well as instructors of these types of courses.
F. J. Kontur; K. de La Harpe; N. B. Terry
We examine how student aptitudes impact how much students learn from doing graded online and written homework in an introductory electricity and magnetism course. Our analysis examines the correlation between successful homework completion rates and exam performance as well as how changes in homework completion correlate with changes in exam scores for students with different physics aptitudes. On average, successfully completing many homework problems correlated to better exam scores only fo...
Hillingso, J.G.; Nielsen, M.B.; Svendsen, Lars Bo
OBJECTIVE: Ultrasonography (US) performed by clinicians might shorten workout time and diminish the workload of simple diagnostic procedures for physicians specialized in US. The purpose of this follow-up study was to evaluate the effect of an introductory course in US on participants' clinical...... to be introduced for gastroenterologists and surgeons or the European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology Guidelines should be implemented Udgivelsesdato: 2008...
Sriram, Jayanthi Sanjeevi
Attrition in the STEM disciplines is a national problem and one of the important reasons for this is student experiences in introductory courses. A myriad of factors influence students' experiences in those courses; inadequate student preparation is one of the most cited reasons. Incoming freshmen often lack the learning strategies required to meaningfully learn and succeed in college courses. Unfortunately, the instructors have limited time and/or have little experience in teaching learning strategies. In this paper, the design, implementation, and evaluation of a Supplemental Course (SC) model that emphasizes learning strategies is presented. SC was offered concurrently with the introductory biology courses for four consecutive semesters (fall 2011 to spring 2013); for 10 weeks in fall 2012 and 7 weeks in the other semesters at Miami University. 10 weeks SC began earlier in the semester than the shorter SC. This study evaluated the effects of the SC on students' (1) performance in the introductory biology course, (2) perceived changes in self-regulation and social support, and (3) experiences in the introductory biology course before, during, and after participation in the SC. A mixed methods approach was used to address these goals. A pre-post survey was administered to obtain students' use of self-regulation strategies and social-support data. Quantitative methods were utilized to analyze content exam grades and changes in self-regulation strategies and social-support. To explore the experiences of the students, semi-structured interviews were conducted, followed by analysis using grounded theory. The findings reveal that participants of the longer duration SC (with an earlier start date) significantly improved in content exam performance, perceived use of self-regulation strategies, and social support compared to the non-participants. Participants of the shorter duration SC (with a later start date) did not significantly improve in content exam performance
This textbook, now in its third edition, provides a formative introduction to the structure of matter that will serve as a sound basis for students proceeding to more complex courses, thus bridging the gap between elementary physics and topics pertaining to research activities. The focus is deliberately limited to key concepts of atoms, molecules and solids, examining the basic structural aspects without paying detailed attention to the related properties. For many topics the aim has been to start from the beginning and to guide the reader to the threshold of advanced research. This edition includes four new chapters dealing with relevant phases of solid matter (magnetic, electric and superconductive) and the related phase transitions. The book is based on a mixture of theory and solved problems that are integrated into the formal presentation of the arguments. Readers will find it invaluable in enabling them to acquire basic knowledge in the wide and wonderful field of condensed matter and to understand how ...
This is the second edition of this textbook, the original of which was published in 2007. Initial undergraduate studies in physics are usually in an organized format devoted to elementary aspects, which is then followed by advanced programmes in specialized fields. A difficult task is to provide a formative introduction in the early period, suitable as a base for courses more complex, thus bridging the wide gap between elementary physics and topics pertaining to research activities. This textbook remains an endeavour toward that goal, and is based on a mixture of simplified institutional theory and solved problems. In this way, the hope is to provide physical insight, basic knowledge and motivation, without impeding advanced learning. The choice has been to limit the focus to key concepts and to those aspects most typical of atoms, molecules and compounds, by looking at the basic, structural components, without paying detailed attention to the properties possessed by them. Problems are intertwined with formal...
This is the second edition of this textbook, the original of which was published in 2007. Initial undergraduate studies in physics are usually in an organized format devoted to elementary aspects, which is then followed by advanced programmes in specialized fields. A difficult task is to provide a formative introduction in the early period, suitable as a base for courses more complex, thus bridging the wide gap between elementary physics and topics pertaining to research activities. This textbook remains an endeavour toward that goal, and is based on a mixture of simplified institutional theory and solved problems. In this way, the hope is to provide physical insight, basic knowledge and motivation, without impeding advanced learning. The choice has been to limit the focus to key concepts and to those aspects most typical of atoms, molecules and compounds, by looking at the basic, structural components, without paying detailed attention to the properties possessed by them. Problems are intertwined with formal...
Hester, Susan; Buxner, Sanlyn; Elfring, Lisa; Nagy, Lisa
Recent calls for improving undergraduate biology education have emphasized the importance of students learning to apply quantitative skills to biological problems. Motivated by students' apparent inability to transfer their existing quantitative skills to biological contexts, we designed and taught an introductory molecular and cell biology course in which we integrated application of prerequisite mathematical skills with biology content and reasoning throughout all aspects of the course. In this paper, we describe the principles of our course design and present illustrative examples of course materials integrating mathematics and biology. We also designed an outcome assessment made up of items testing students' understanding of biology concepts and their ability to apply mathematical skills in biological contexts and administered it as a pre/postcourse test to students in the experimental section and other sections of the same course. Precourse results confirmed students' inability to spontaneously transfer their prerequisite mathematics skills to biological problems. Pre/postcourse outcome assessment comparisons showed that, compared with students in other sections, students in the experimental section made greater gains on integrated math/biology items. They also made comparable gains on biology items, indicating that integrating quantitative skills into an introductory biology course does not have a deleterious effect on students' biology learning.
Hester, Susan; Buxner, Sanlyn; Elfring, Lisa; Nagy, Lisa
Recent calls for improving undergraduate biology education have emphasized the importance of students learning to apply quantitative skills to biological problems. Motivated by students’ apparent inability to transfer their existing quantitative skills to biological contexts, we designed and taught an introductory molecular and cell biology course in which we integrated application of prerequisite mathematical skills with biology content and reasoning throughout all aspects of the course. In this paper, we describe the principles of our course design and present illustrative examples of course materials integrating mathematics and biology. We also designed an outcome assessment made up of items testing students’ understanding of biology concepts and their ability to apply mathematical skills in biological contexts and administered it as a pre/postcourse test to students in the experimental section and other sections of the same course. Precourse results confirmed students’ inability to spontaneously transfer their prerequisite mathematics skills to biological problems. Pre/postcourse outcome assessment comparisons showed that, compared with students in other sections, students in the experimental section made greater gains on integrated math/biology items. They also made comparable gains on biology items, indicating that integrating quantitative skills into an introductory biology course does not have a deleterious effect on students’ biology learning. PMID:24591504
Wetzel, James N.; And Others
Reports the results of a study that examined the influence of learning and teaching styles on changes in student achievement in economics and attitude toward economics among undergraduates enrolled in an introductory economics course. (AM)
Kontur, F. J.; de La Harpe, K.; Terry, N. B.
We reply to Rieger, Reinsberg, and Wieman's forgoing Comment [Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., Comment on "Benefits of completing homework for students with different aptitudes in an introductory electricity and magnetism course" 12, 028001 (2016)].
Full Text Available The interactive technical electronic book, TechEBook, currently under development at the University of Central Florida, provides a useful tool for engineers and scientists through unique features compared to the most used traditional electrical circuit textbooks available in the market. TechEBook has comprised the two worlds of classical circuit books and an interactive operating platform such as laptops and desktops utilizing Java Virtual Machine operator. The TechEBook provides an interactive applets screen that holds many modules, in which each had a specific application in the self learning process. This paper describes one of the interactive techniques in the TechEBook known as, QuizMe, for evaluating the readers’ performance and the overall understanding for all subjects at any stage. The QuizMe will be displayed after each section in the TechEBook for the user to evaluate his/her understanding, which introduces the term me-learning, as a comprehensive full experience for self or individualized education. In this paper, a practical example of applying the QuizMe feature is discussed as part of a basic electrical engineering course currently given at the University of Central Florida.
Ferreira, Ix-B GarcIa; Herrera, J GarcIa; Villasenor, L
This handbook was written for the Drift Chambers introductory laboratory course to be held at 11th Mexican School of Particles and Fields that will be held at the Universidad Veracruzana on the campus of the University at Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. This course intends to introduce drift chambers, which play an important role in particle physics experiments as tracking detectors. We start such laboratory course with a brief review of the physics theoretical background. The experimental setup consists of a single-sided, single-cell drift chamber, a plastic scintillator detector, the standard P-10 gas mixture (90% Ar, 10% CH 4 ) and a collimated 90 Sr source. The measurements on the drift velocity of electrons, its change as a function of a drift field, gas gain and diffusion are performed at this laboratory course
Russ, John C.
We will demonstrate and describe the impact of our use of multimedia and network connectivity on a sophomore-level introductory course in materials science. This class services all engineering students, resulting in large (more than 150) class sections with no hands-on laboratory. In 1990 we began to develop computer graphics that might substitute for some laboratory or real-world experiences, and demonstrate relationships hard to show with static textbook images or chalkboard drawings. We created a comprehensive series of modules that cover the entire course content. Called VIMS (Visualizations in Materials Science), these are available in the form of a CD-ROM and also via the internet.
A two part experimental introductory college economics course is described. Data on the combination macroeconomics and microeconomics course have been collected over eight consecutive terms and are presented in nine chapters. Chapter I describes course goals as stimulation of student interest, teaching a few basic economic principles, helping…
Karnok, Keith J.; And Others
A survey of 32 land-grant institutions was conducted to determine format, topical content, and teaching methods of introductory turfgrass management courses of 4-year turfgrass management programs in the United States. Required courses included a basic soils class and a course in biology or botany, usually transmitted by the lecture method. (MDH)
Pillay, Seshini; Buffler, Andy; Lubben, Fred; Allie, Saalih
An evaluation of a course aimed at developing university students' understanding of the nature of scientific measurement and uncertainty is described. The course materials follow the framework for metrology as recommended in the Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement (GUM). The evaluation of the course is based on responses to written questionnaires administered to a cohort of 76 first year physics students both pre- and post-instruction, which were interpreted in terms of 'point' or 'set' reasoning. These findings are compared with responses from a control group of 70 students who completed a similar laboratory course apart from the use of traditional approaches to measurement and data analysis. The results suggest that the GUM framework, together with the specific teaching strategies described, provides opportunities for more effective learning of measurement and uncertainty in the introductory laboratory
Smith, Kendra Leigh
This study had four purposes: (1) to investigate the relationship between performance in introductory biology or introductory chemistry lecture courses and their accompanying laboratory courses, (2) to investigate the relationship between performance in introductory biology or introductory chemistry lecture courses and a student's gender, (3) to investigate the relationship between performance in introductory biology or introductory chemistry lecture courses and a student's major, and (4) to investigate the relationship between performance in introductory biology or introductory chemistry lecture courses and a student's ACT scores. The sample consisted of 195 first--time freshmen who enrolled in and completed an introductory biology or an introductory chemistry lecture and laboratory courses during the fall semesters of 2007-2012. Of the 195 students, 61 were enrolled in introductory chemistry and 134 were enrolled in introductory biology courses. Logistic regression, via the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), was utilized to analyze several variables as they related to success in the lecture courses. Data were extracted from the university's student information system (BANNER), and analyses were conducted on biology and chemistry separately. The dependent variable for this study was a dichotomous variable for success and nonsuccess in introductory biology or introductory chemistry lecture course. The independent variables analyzed were student's gender, major, final grade in an accompanying biology or chemistry laboratory course, and ACT test scores (composite, mathematics, and science). Results indicate that concurrent enrollment in a biology laboratory course increased the likelihood of success by 15.64 times in the lecture course. Gender was found to not be a significant predictor of success for either introductory biology or introductory chemistry lecture courses. STEM majors were 9.6 times more likely to be successful than non-STEM majors in
Baer, E. M.; Wenner, J. M.; Burn, H. E.
"The Math You Need, When You Need It" (TMYN) modules are finding use well beyond the courses for which they were originally written. However, faculty survey responses indicate that the modules are used in similar ways, suggesting that the overall design of the modules is effective. TMYN modules are online resources designed to help students develop quantitative skills in conjunction with introductory geology courses. Since 2010, 29 faculty members at 26 institutions used these asynchronous resources at in 68 different courses nationwide, impacting about 3000 students. After each use of the modules, instructors responded to a survey about their use of the modules and the impact on each course and student cohort. Of the 29 instructors, 16 responded with a total of 36 implementations, a 52% response rate. Survey responses indicate use of TMYN modules in classes well beyond their original design. The modules were originally designed for students in introductory geology classes, especially those targeted at non-geoscience majors. Sixty-nine percent (22/32) of TMYN courses included introductory geology courses such as Physical Geology, Earth System Science and Environmental Geology. The remainder of courses included multiple uses in oceanography and meteorology courses and more specialized geoscience courses such as geomorphology, structural geology and hydrology. Surveys suggest that only 63% of courses that used TMYN (20/32) were targeted to students in general education courses. Nine percent (3/32) of courses were targeted to STEM majors and 19% (6/32) were specifically targeted to geoscience majors, including upper-level courses. Despite the wide variety of institutions, instructors, classes, and student educational goals, faculty incorporated the modules into their curriculum in as originally designed, indicating that the overall design of the modules is effective. Twenty-two respondents indicate that modules were assigned immediately prior to using a skill in the
Yeshion, Theodore Elliot
Students' Conceptions of Science, Scientific Evidence, and Forensic Evidence during a University Introductory Forensic Science Course This study was designed to examine and understand what conceptions undergraduate students taking an introductory forensic science course had about scientific evidence. Because the relationships between the nature of science, the nature of evidence, and the nature of forensic evidence are not well understood in the science education literature, this study sought to understand how these concepts interact and affect students' understanding of scientific evidence. Four participants were purposefully selected for this study from among 89 students enrolled in two sections of an introductory forensic science course taught during the fall 2005 semester. Of the 89 students, 84 were criminal justice majors with minimal science background and five were chemistry majors with academic backgrounds in the natural and physical sciences. All 89 students completed a biographical data sheet and a pre-instruction Likert scale survey consisting of twenty questions relating to the nature of scientific evidence. An evaluation of these two documents resulted in a purposeful selection of four varied student participants, each of whom was interviewed three times throughout the semester about the nature of science, the nature of evidence, and the nature of forensic evidence. The same survey was administered to the participants again at the end of the semester-long course. This study examined students' assumptions, prior knowledge, their understanding of scientific inference, scientific theory, and methodology. Examination of the data found few differences with regard to how the criminal justice majors and the chemistry majors responded to interview questions about forensic evidence. There were qualitative differences, however, when the same participants answered interview questions relating to traditional scientific evidence. Furthermore, suggestions are
Faulconer, E. K.; Griffith, J.; Wood, B.; Acharyya, S.; Roberts, D.
While the equivalence between online and traditional classrooms has been well-researched, very little of this includes college-level introductory Physics. Only one study explored Physics at the whole-class level rather than specific course components such as a single lab or a homework platform. In this work, we compared the failure rate, grade distribution, and withdrawal rates in an introductory undergraduate Physics course across several learning modes including traditional face-to-face instruction, synchronous video instruction, and online classes. Statistically significant differences were found for student failure rates, grade distribution, and withdrawal rates but yielded small effect sizes. Post-hoc pair-wise test was run to determine differences between learning modes. Online students had a significantly lower failure rate than students who took the class via synchronous video classroom. While statistically significant differences were found for grade distributions, the pair-wise comparison yielded no statistically significance differences between learning modes when using the more conservative Bonferroni correction in post-hoc testing. Finally, in this study, student withdrawal rates were lowest for students who took the class in person (in-person classroom and synchronous video classroom) than online. Students that persist in an online introductory Physics class are more likely to achieve an A than in other modes. However, the withdrawal rate is higher from online Physics courses. Further research is warranted to better understand the reasons for higher withdrawal rates in online courses. Finding the root cause to help eliminate differences in student performance across learning modes should remain a high priority for education researchers and the education community as a whole.
Buxner, Sanlyn; Formanek, Martin; Impey, Chris David; Wenger, Matthew
We describe learners enrolled in three iterations of introductory astronomy massive open online courses (MOOCs). These courses are offered through commercial providers and facilitated by an instructional team at the University of Arizona. We describe an ongoing study of those who enroll, engage in, and complete these courses. The course has undergone several revisions, including integrating pedagogical techniques, found to be effective for in-person courses, to increase engagement including peer review, online discussions, and the use of cohorts. In its current version, learners enroll on a continual basis and complete 11 weeks of course content; they watch videos, complete content quizzes, submit writing assignments, complete peer review of other students’ work, and complete online citizen science projects. Tens of thousands of students has signed up for these courses but completion rates are much lower, around 10%. We have collected survey data from over 8,500 of these learners to assess their basic science knowledge, attitudes towards science and technology, motivations for taking the courses, and information about other ways they engage in science related activities. We present information about these learners, including their demographics, motivations, how they use the courses, and what factors lead to increased engagement and completion. Additionally, we present how survey data from these learners compare to 26 years of data we have collected from parallel group of undergraduate non-science major students enrolled in astronomy courses at the University of Arizona. Overall, we find that learners who enroll in the MOOCs have more interest in science and higher basic science knowledge that undergraduates who pay tuition for a similar course. Our work is helping us understand how to better serve learners in MOOCs and bridge more traditional courses with these types of courses.
Nuffer, Wesley; Botts, Sheila; Franson, Kari; Gilliam, Eric; Knutsen, Randy; Nuffer, Monika; O'Brien, Elizabeth; Saseen, Joseph; Thompson, Megan; Vande Griend, Joseph; Willis, Robert
The University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SSPPS) used the opportunity of curriculum renewal to integrate knowledge and skills learned from didactic courses into the introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPEs) occurring simultaneously. This paper describes and evaluates the meaningful application of course content into IPPEs, and evaluates the success using qualitative feedback. Students entering the renewed curriculum starting in fall 2012 were provided a list of pharmacy skills and activities from didactic course directors that reinforced course content for that semester. The skills and activities were to be completed during the students' IPPE visits in the community or health systems settings, depending on the program year and semester. Students successfully completed course assignments during their IPPE course program. Not all activities could be completed as designed, and many required modification, including simulated experiences. Feedback from faculty and preceptor members of the school's experiential education committee demonstrated that these activities were valuable and improved learning of course material, but were challenging to implement. A renewed curriculum that mapped course assignments for completion in experiential settings was successfully established, after some modifications. The program was modified at regular intervals to improve the ability of preceptors to complete these activities in their individual practice environment. A balance between the school providing guidance on what activities students should perform and allowing unstructured independent learning with the preceptor is needed for an optimal experience. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Boltax, Ariana L; Armanious, Stephanie; Kosinski-Collins, Melissa S; Pontrello, Jason K
Modern research often requires collaboration of experts in fields, such as math, chemistry, biology, physics, and computer science to develop unique solutions to common problems. Traditional introductory undergraduate laboratory curricula in the sciences often do not emphasize connections possible between the various disciplines. We designed an interdisciplinary, medically relevant, project intended to help students see connections between chemistry and biology. Second term organic chemistry laboratory students designed and synthesized potential polymer inhibitors or inducers of polyglutamine protein aggregation. The use of novel target compounds added the uncertainty of scientific research to the project. Biology laboratory students then tested the novel potential pharmaceuticals in Huntington's disease model assays, using in vitro polyglutamine peptide aggregation and in vivo lethality studies in Drosophila. Students read articles from the primary literature describing the system from both chemical and biological perspectives. Assessment revealed that students emerged from both courses with a deeper understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of biology and chemistry and a heightened interest in basic research. The design of this collaborative project for introductory biology and organic chemistry labs demonstrated how the local interests and expertise at a university can be drawn from to create an effective way to integrate these introductory courses. Rather than simply presenting a series of experiments to be replicated, we hope that our efforts will inspire other scientists to think about how some aspect of authentic work can be brought into their own courses, and we also welcome additional collaborations to extend the scope of the scientific exploration. © 2015 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Hardin, Erin E; Longhurst, Melanie O
Despite robust support for the basic theoretical model of social cognitive career theory (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994) and predictions that, for example, increases (or declines) in self-efficacy would lead to subsequent increases (or declines) in interest, there has been surprisingly little longitudinal research that has directly examined the extent to which members of different groups (e.g., women and men) actually do experience changes in critical social-cognitive variables over time early in their curricula in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Knowing the extent to which such changes occur in typical introductory undergraduate courses is important for targeting interventions to increase persistence of underrepresented groups in STEM. We measured social-cognitive-career-theory-relevant variables near the middle and at the end of the 1st semester of a gateway introductory chemistry course and found that women had lower STEM self-efficacy, coping self-efficacy, and STEM interest than did men, even after controlling for actual course performance. Although there were no detrimental changes across the semester for women or men, men experienced a small but significant increase in their perceived support for pursuing a STEM degree, whereas women did not. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Kadar, G.; Rosta, L.
The aim of this volume of Lecture Notes is to form and confirm a tradition of Introductory Courses in relation to the European Conferences on Neutron Scattering. The structure of the Lecture Notes is as follows: a general block of introduction of mainly experimental character is presented, then traditional diffraction methods are discussed. Some aspects of small angle neutron scattering and reflectometry are discussed, and in a final block the well-known techniques of inelastic neutron scattering is outlined. 12 items are indexed separately for the INIS database. (K.A.)
Burn, H. E.; Wenner, J. M.; Baer, E. M.
The quantitative components of introductory geoscience courses can pose significant barriers to students. Many academic departments respond by stripping courses of their quantitative components or by attaching prerequisite mathematics courses [PMC]. PMCs cause students to incur additional costs and credits and may deter enrollment in introductory courses; yet, stripping quantitative content from geoscience courses masks the data-rich, quantitative nature of geoscience. Furthermore, the diversity of math skills required in geoscience and students' difficulty with transferring mathematical knowledge across domains suggest that PMCs may be ineffective. Instead, this study explores an alternative strategy -- to remediate students' mathematical skills using online modules that provide students with opportunities to build contextual quantitative reasoning skills. The Math You Need, When You Need It [TMYN] is a set of modular online student resources that address mathematical concepts in the context of the geosciences. TMYN modules are online resources that employ a "just-in-time" approach - giving students access to skills and then immediately providing opportunities to apply them. Each module places the mathematical concept in multiple geoscience contexts. Such an approach illustrates the immediate application of a principle and provides repeated exposure to a mathematical skill, enhancing long-term retention. At the same time, placing mathematics directly in several geoscience contexts better promotes transfer of learning by using similar discourse (words, tools, representations) and context that students will encounter when applying mathematics in the future. This study uses quantitative and qualitative data to explore the effectiveness of TMYN modules in remediating students' mathematical skills. Quantitative data derive from ten geoscience courses that used TMYN modules during the fall 2010 and spring 2011 semesters; none of the courses had a PMC. In all courses
Hiedemann, Bridget; Jones, Stacey M.
We compare the effectiveness of academic service learning to that of case studies in an undergraduate introductory business statistics course. Students in six sections of the course were assigned either an academic service learning project (ASL) or business case studies (CS). We examine two learning outcomes: students' performance on the final…
Hassel, Holly; Launius, Christie
This article reports on a scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) project in the introductory women's and gender studies course, occasioned by a curricular redesign to focus the course on four threshold concepts within the field: the social construction of gender, privilege and oppression, intersectionality, and feminist praxis. The authors…
Mylott, Elliot; Kutschera, Ellynne; Dunlap, Justin C.; Christensen, Warren; Widenhorn, Ralf
We will describe a one-quarter pilot algebra-based introductory physics course for pre-health and life science majors. The course features videos with biomedical experts and cogent biomedically inspired physics content. The materials were used in a flipped classroom as well as an all-online environment where students interacted with multimedia…
Schmind, Kendra K.; Blankenship, Erin E.; Kerby. April T.; Green, Jennifer L.; Smith, Wendy M.
The statistical preparation of in-service teachers, particularly middle school teachers, has been an area of concern for several years. This paper discusses the creation and delivery of an introductory statistics course as part of a master's degree program for in-service mathematics teachers. The initial course development took place before the…
Klymkowsky, Michael W; Rentsch, Jeremy D; Begovic, Emina; Cooper, Melanie M
Many introductory biology courses amount to superficial surveys of disconnected topics. Often, foundational observations and the concepts derived from them and students' ability to use these ideas appropriately are overlooked, leading to unrealistic expectations and unrecognized learning obstacles. The result can be a focus on memorization at the expense of the development of a meaningful framework within which to consider biological phenomena. About a decade ago, we began a reconsideration of what an introductory course should present to students and the skills they need to master. The original Web-based course's design presaged many of the recommendations of the Vision and Change report; in particular, a focus on social evolutionary mechanisms, stochastic (evolutionary and molecular) processes, and core ideas (cellular continuity, evolutionary homology, molecular interactions, coupled chemical reactions, and molecular machines). Inspired by insights from the Chemistry, Life, the Universe & Everything general chemistry project, we transformed the original Web version into a (freely available) book with a more unified narrative flow and a set of formative assessments delivered through the beSocratic system. We outline how student responses to course materials are guiding future course modifications, in particular a more concerted effort at helping students to construct logical, empirically based arguments, explanations, and models. © 2016 M. W. Klymkowsky et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Banna, Jinan; Grace Lin, Meng-Fen; Stewart, Maria; Fialkowski, Marie K
Fostering interaction in the online classroom is an important consideration in ensuring that students actively create their own knowledge and reach a high level of achievement in science courses. This study focuses on fostering interaction in an online introductory nutrition course offered in a public institution of higher education in Hawai'i, USA. Interactive features included synchronous discussions and polls in scheduled sessions, and social media tools for sharing of information and resources. Qualitative student feedback was solicited regarding the new course features. Findings indicated that students who attended monthly synchronous sessions valued live interaction with peers and the instructor. Issues identified included technical difficulties during synchronous sessions, lack of participation on the part of fellow students in discussion and inability to attend synchronous sessions due to scheduling conflicts. In addition, few students made use of the opportunity to interact via social media. While students indicated that the interactive components of the course were valuable, several areas in which improvement may be made remain. Future studies may explore potential solutions to issues identified with new features to further promote interaction and foster learning in the course. Recommendations for instructors who are interested in offering online science courses in higher education are provided.
Research suggests that students benefit from peer interaction and active engagement in the classroom. The quality, nature, effect of these interactions is currently being explored by Physics Education Researchers. Spelman College offers an introductory physics sequence that addresses content and research skills by engaging students in open-ended research projects, a form of Project-Based Learning. Students have been surveyed at regular intervals during the second semester of trigonometry-based course to determine the frequency of interactions in and out of class. These interactions can be with current or past students, tutors, and instructors. This line of inquiry focuses on metrics of Social Network analysis, such as centrality of participants as well as segmentation of groups. Further research will refine and highlight deeper questions regarding student performance in this pedagogy and course sequence.
Li, Jing; Singh, Chandralekha
We discuss an investigation of student difficulties with symmetry and Gauss’s law and how the research on students’ difficulties was used as a guide to develop a tutorial related to these topics to help students in the calculus-based introductory physics courses learn these concepts. During the development of the tutorial, we interviewed students individually at various stages of development and administered written tests in the free-response and multiple-choice formats on these concepts to learn about common student difficulties. We also obtained feedback from physics instructors who teach introductory physics courses regularly in which these concepts were covered. The students in several ‘equivalent’ sections worked on the tutorial after traditional lecture-based instruction. We discuss the performance of students on the written pre-test (administered after lecture-based instruction in relevant concepts) and post-test given after students worked on the tutorial. We find that on the pre-test, all sections of the course performed comparably regardless of the instructor. Also, on average, student performance on the post-test after working on the tutorial is significantly better than on the pre-test after lecture-based instruction. We also compare the post-test performance of introductory students in sections of the course in which the tutorial was used versus not used and find that sections in which students engaged with the tutorial outperformed those in which students did not engage with it.
Walsh, E. O.; Davis, E.
Geology can be a hard sell to college students, especially to college students attending small, liberal arts institutions in localities that lack exaggerated topography. At these schools, Geology departments that wish to grow must work diligently to attract students to the major; professors must be able to convince a wider audience of students that geology is relevant to their everyday lives. Toward this end, a Physical Geology course was linked with an introductory Sociology course through the common theme of Consumption. The same students took the two courses in sequence, beginning with the Sociology course and ending with Physical Geology; thus, students began by discussing the role of consumption in society and ended by learning about the geological processes and implications of consumption. Students were able to ascertain the importance of geology in their daily lives by connecting Earth processes to specific products they consume, such as cell phones and bottled water. Students were also able to see the connection between seemingly disparate fields of study, which is a major goal of the liberal arts. As a theme, Consumption worked well to grab the attention of students interested in diverse issues, such as environmental science or social justice. A one-hour lecture illustrating the link between sociology and geology was developed for presentation to incoming freshmen and their parents to advertise the course. Initial response has been positive, showing an increase in awareness of geological processes among students with a wide range of interests.
James Christopher Moore
Full Text Available We have investigated the efficacy of on-line, multimedia learning modules (MLMs as preparation for in-class, lecture-based tutorials in electromagnetism in a physics course for natural science majors (biology and marine science. Specifically, we report the results of a multiple-group pre/post-test research design comparing two groups receiving different treatments with respect to activities preceding participation in Tutorials in Introductory Physics. The different pre-tutorial activities were as follows: (1 students were assigned reading from a traditional textbook, followed by a traditional lecture; and (2 students completed on-line MLMs developed by the Physics Education Research Group at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC, and commercially known as FlipItPhysics. The MLM treatment group earned significantly higher mid-term examination scores and larger gains in content knowledge as measured by the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM. Student attitudes towards “reformed” instruction in the form of active-engagement tutorials were also improved. Specifically, post-course surveys showed that MLM-group students believed class time was more effective and the instructor was more clear than reported by non-MLM students, even though there was no significant difference between groups with respect to in-class activities and the same instructor taught both groups. MLM activities can be a highly effective tool for some student populations, especially when student preparation and buy-in are important for realizing significant gains.
Laine, E. P.; Field, C.
The Campus Compact for New Hampshire (Gordon, 2003) introduced a practical model for designing service-learning exercises or components for new or existing courses. They divided the design and implementation process into eight concrete areas, the “8-Block Model”. Their goal was to demystify the design process of service learning courses by breaking it down into interconnected components. These components include: project design, community partner relations, the problem statement, building community in the classroom, building student capacity, project management, assessment of learning, and reflection and connections. The project design component of the “8-Block Model” asks that the service performed be consistent with the learning goals of the course. For science courses students carry out their work as a way of learning science and the process of science, not solely for the sake of service. Their work supports the goals of a community partner and the community partner poses research problems for the class in a letter on their letterhead. Linking student work to important problems in the community effectively engages students and encourages them to work at more sophisticated levels than usually seen in introductory science classes. Using team-building techniques, the classroom becomes a safe, secure learning environment that encourages sharing and experimentation. Targeted lectures, labs, and demonstrations build the capacity of students to do their research. Behind the scenes project management ensures student success. Learning is assessed using a variety of tools, including graded classroom presentations, poster sessions, and presentations and reports to community partners. Finally, students reflect upon their work and make connections between their research and its importance to the well being of the community. Over the past 10 years, we have used this approach to design and continually modify an introductory oceanography course for majors and non
Zwolak, Justyna P.; Dou, Remy; Williams, Eric A.; Brewe, Eric
Increasing student retention (successfully finishing a particular course) and persistence (continuing through a sequence of courses or the major area of study) is currently a major challenge for universities. While students' academic and social integration into an institution seems to be vital for student retention, research into the effect of interpersonal interactions is rare. We use network analysis as an approach to investigate academic and social experiences of students in the classroom. In particular, centrality measures identify patterns of interaction that contribute to integration into the university. Using these measures, we analyze how position within a social network in a Modeling Instruction (MI) course—an introductory physics course that strongly emphasizes interactive learning—predicts their persistence in taking a subsequent physics course. Students with higher centrality at the end of the first semester of MI are more likely to enroll in a second semester of MI. Moreover, we found that chances of successfully predicting individual student's persistence based on centrality measures are fairly high—up to 75%, making the centrality a good predictor of persistence. These findings suggest that increasing student social integration may help in improving persistence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.
O'Shea, Brian; Terry, Laura; Benenson, Walter
We present outcomes from curricular changes made to an introductory calculus-based physics course whose audience is primarily life sciences majors, the majority of whom plan to pursue postbaccalaureate studies in medical and scientific fields. During the 2011-2012 academic year, we implemented a Physics of the Life Sciences curriculum centered on a draft textbook that takes a novel approach to teaching physics to life sciences majors. In addition, substantial revisions were made to the homework and hands-on components of the course to emphasize the relationship between physics and the life sciences and to help the students learn to apply physical intuition to life sciences-oriented problems. Student learning and attitudinal outcomes were assessed both quantitatively, using standard physics education research instruments, and qualitatively, using student surveys and a series of postsemester interviews. Students experienced high conceptual learning gains, comparable to other active learning-based physics courses. Qualitatively, a substantial fraction of interviewed students reported an increased interest in physics relative to the beginning of the semester. Furthermore, more than half of students self-reported that they could now relate physics topics to their majors and future careers, with interviewed subjects demonstrating a high level of ability to come up with examples of how physics affects living organisms and how it helped them to better understand content presented in courses in their major.
Ahmad, Khuloud Nasser
A reexamination of the traditional instruction of introductory computer science (CS) courses is becoming a necessity. Introductory CS courses tend to have high attrition rates and low success rates. In many universities, the CS department suffered from low enrollment for several years compared to other majors. Multiple studies have linked these…
Francisco Savall Alemany
Full Text Available The effectiveness of the problem based teaching on the science learning has been highlighted by the didactic research. This teaching model is characterized by organizing the units around problems and by proposing a research plan to find a solution which requires concepts and models to be introduced in a functional way, as possible solutions to the problem. In this article we present a problem based unit for teaching quantum physics in introductory physics courses and we analyze in detail the teaching strategy that we follow to build a model to explain the emission and absorption of radiation.
Upton, Brianna; Evans, John; Morrow, Cherilynn; Thoms, Brian
Previous studies have shown that many students have misconceptions about basic concepts in physics. Moreover, it has been concluded that one of the challenges lies in the teaching methodology. To address this, Georgia State University has begun teaching studio algebra-based physics. Although many institutions have implemented studio physics, most have done so in calculus-based sequences. The effectiveness of the studio approach in an algebra-based introductory physics course needs further investigation. A 3-semester study assessing the effectiveness of studio physics in an algebra-based physics sequence has been performed. This study compares the results of student pre- and post-tests using the Force Concept Inventory. Using the results from this assessment tool, we will discuss the effectiveness of the studio approach to teaching physics at GSU.
Winter, Joshua Brian
The flipped or inverted classroom model is one in which the time and place for traditional lecture and homework are reversed. Traditional lecture is replaced by online videos assigned as homework. This frees up time in class to be spent with more student centered activities such as discussion based concept questions and group problem solving. While growing in popularity, research on the effectiveness of this format is sparse. In this quasi-experimental study, two sections of an introductory algebra-based college physics course were examined over a five week period. Each section was taught with either the traditional or flipped model and physics knowledge achieved was compared using independent samples t-tests on both the instructor's unit exam and the Mechanics Baseline Test pre/posttest normalized gain. Results indicated that there was no statistically significant difference between the flipped model and the traditional lecture format. Avenues for further research are discussed.
Loehr, John Francis
The issue of student preparation for college study in science has been an ongoing concern for both college-bound students and educators of various levels. This study uses a national sample of college students enrolled in introductory biology courses to address the relationship between high school biology preparation and subsequent introductory college biology performance. Multi-Level Modeling was used to investigate the relationship between students' high school science and mathematics experiences and college biology performance. This analysis controls for student demographic and educational background factors along with factors associated with the college or university attended. The results indicated that high school course-taking and science instructional experiences have the largest impact on student achievement in the first introductory college biology course. In particular, enrollment in courses, such as high school Calculus and Advanced Placement (AP) Biology, along with biology course content that focuses on developing a deep understanding of the topics is found to be positively associated with student achievement in introductory college biology. On the other hand, experiencing high numbers of laboratory activities, demonstrations, and independent projects along with higher levels of laboratory freedom are associated with negative achievement. These findings are relevant to high school biology teachers, college students, their parents, and educators looking beyond the goal of high school graduation.
Priest, Kerry L.; Bauer, Tamara; Fine, Leigh E.
Contemporary trends in leadership education emphasize paradigms of learning and educational practices associated with developing responsible citizens, furthering higher education's civic mission. Yet, few introductory leadership courses include an explicit civic component (Johnson & Woodard, 2014). Service-learning is a high-impact practice…
Huett, Kim C.; Kawulich, Barbara
Collaborating at two universities to improve teaching and learning in undergraduate engineering, an interdisciplinary team of researchers, instructors, and evaluators planned and implemented the use of multimedia case studies with students enrolled in an introductory engineering course. This qualitative action evaluation study focuses on results…
Blair, Amy C.; Peters, Brenda J.; Bendixen, Conrad W.
The AAAS Vision and Change report (2011) recommends incorporating student research experiences into the biology curriculum at the undergraduate level. This article describes, in detail, how "Zea mays" (corn) cultivars were used as a model for a hypothesis-driven short-term research project in an introductory biology course at a small…
Nelson, Matthew L.; Hauck, Roslin V.
The challenges associated with teaching a core introductory management information systems (MIS) course are well known (large class sizes serving a majority of non-MIS majors, sustaining student interests, encouraging class participation, etc.). This study offers a mechanism towards managing these challenges through the use of a simple and…
This study examines how students perceive their learning of creating and analyzing data in an introductory inquiry chemistry course at a college level that features oral presentations in student-centered discussions. A student Participant Perception Indicator (PPI) survey was administered in order to obtain data on student perceptions with respect…
In reaction to misuses and misinterpretations of p-values and confidence intervals, a social science journal editor banned p-values from its pages. This study aimed to show that education could address misuse and abuse. This study examines inference-related learning outcomes for social science students in an introductory course supplemented with…
Anderson, Steven W.; Libarkin, Julie C.
Nationwide pre- and posttesting of introductory courses with the Geoscience Concept Inventory (GCI) shows little gain for many of its questions. Analysis of more than 3,500 tests shows that 22 of the 73 GCI questions had gains of <0.03, and nearly half of these focused on basic physics and chemistry. We also discovered through an assessment of…
Duncan, Hollis; Dick, Thomas
Describes the Treisman model which involves supplemental workshops in which college students solve problems in collaborative learning groups. Reports on the effectiveness of Math Excel, an implementation of the Treisman model for introductory mathematics courses at Oregon State University over five academic terms. Reveals a significant effect on…
This article describes the concurrent development of paper-based and e-book versions of a textbook and related instructional material used in an introductory-level financial accounting course. Break-even analysis is used to compare costs of the two media. A study conducted with 109 students is also used to evaluate the two media with respect to…
This study examined the relationship between the sensation-seeking personality trait to changes in perceived risk and perceived competence during an adventure experience. Participants (n = 57) were enrolled in a 14-week introductory scuba diving course offered at a university in eastern North Carolina in 2006. The data was analyzed using a…
Rieger, G. W.; Reinsberg, S. A.; Wieman, C. E.
We present a comment on "Benefits of completing homework for students with different aptitudes in an introductory electricity and magnetism course", by F. J. Kontur, K. de La Harpe, and N. B. Terry PRST-PER 11, 010105 (2015). Our data show that the conclusions Kontur and coworkers draw from their data may not be generally applicable.
Kjonaas, Richard A.; Fitch, Richard W.; Noll, Robert J.
A microscale isotopic labeling experiment is described for the introductory organic chemistry laboratory course wherein half of the students use sodium borohydride (NaBH[subscript 4]) and the other half use sodium borodeuteride (NaBD[subscript 4]) to reduce acetophenone to 1-phenylethanol and then compare spectral data. The cost is reasonable, and…
Magalhaes, A L; Vasconcelos, V P S
Particle in a Box is a non-commercial program which was devised to help students to become familiar with typical quantum phenomena when they are introduced for the first time in a physical-chemistry course. Its name comes from the simple and well-known theoretical model on which it is based. The user can select three distinct potential wells, namely the one dimensional with two infinite walls, the one dimensional with one finite barrier and the two-dimensional infinite potential square box. In order to set the system conditions, the user may enter the values for different physical parameters, including the quantum level, mass of the particle, dimensions of the box and height of the finite potential barrier. Through a clear and attractive output, one can visualize and compare the wavefunctions and their squares for the chosen quantum levels, the corresponding energy diagrams and probabilities of tunnelling. The program was tested as a pedagogical tool in tutorials of an introductory course in atomic and molecular structure. The use of this software in the classroom increased the receptivity of the students to non-intuitive topics such as, for instance, quantization, nodes and tunnelling, which helped to improve their success in the course
Boyce, Angela; Casey, Anne; Walsh, Gary
Courses in introductory biochemistry invariably encompass basic principles of enzymology, with reinforcement of lecture-based material in appropriate laboratory practicals. Students undertaking practical classes are more enthusiastic, and generally display improved performance, when the specific experiments undertaken show direct relevance to…
Schen, Melissa S.
Scientific reasoning is a skill of critical importance to those students who seek to become professional scientists. Yet, there is little research on the development of such reasoning in science majors. In addition, scientific reasoning is often investigated as two separate entities: hypothetico-deductive reasoning and argumentation, even though these skills may be linked. With regard to argumentation, most investigations look at its use in discussing socioscientific issues, not in analyzing scientific data. As scientists often use the same argumentation skills to develop and support conclusions, this avenue needs to be investigated. This study seeks to address these issues and establish a baseline of both hypothetico-deductive reasoning and argumentation of scientific data of biology majors through their engagement in introductory biology coursework. This descriptive study investigated the development of undergraduates' scientific reasoning skills by assessing them multiple times throughout a two-quarter introductory biology course sequence for majors. Participants were assessed at the beginning of the first quarter, end of the first quarter, and end of the second quarter. A split-half version of the revised Lawson Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (LCTSR) and a paper and pencil argumentation instrument developed for this study were utilized to assess student hypothetico-deductive reasoning and argumentation skills, respectively. To identify factors that may influence scientific reasoning development, demographic information regarding age, gender, science coursework completed, and future plans was collected. Evidence for course emphasis on scientific reasoning was found in lecture notes, assignments, and laboratory exercises. This study did not find any trends of improvement in the students' hypothetico-deductive reasoning or argumentation skills either during the first quarter or over both quarters. Specific difficulties in the control of variables and
Bishop, Amy Renee
The purpose of this research was to determine the effect of computer-based instruction on student mathematics achievement and students' attitudes toward mathematics in developmental and introductory mathematics courses, namely Elementary Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, and College Algebra, at a community college. The researcher also examined the…
Sit, S. M.; Brudzinski, M. R.; Colella, H. V.
The recent growth of online learning in higher education is primarily motivated by a desire to (a) increase the availability of learning experiences for learners who cannot, or choose not, to attend traditional face-to-face offerings, (b) assemble and disseminate instructional content more cost-efficiently, or (c) enable instructors to handle more students while maintaining a learning outcome quality that is equivalent to that of comparable face-to-face instruction. However, a less recognized incentive is that online learning also provides an opportunity for data mining, or efficient discovery of non-obvious valuable patterns from a large collection of data, that can be used to investigate learning pathways as opposed to focusing solely on assessing student outcomes. Course management systems that enable online courses provide a means to collect a vast amount of information to analyze students' behavior and the learning process in general. One of the most commonly used is Moodle (modular object-oriented developmental learning environment), a free learning management system that enables creation of powerful, flexible, and engaging online courses and experiences. In order to examine student learning pathways, the online learning modules we are constructing take advantage of Moodle capabilities to provide immediate formative feedback, verifying answers as correct or incorrect and elaborating on knowledge components to guide students towards the correct answer. By permitting multiple attempts in which credit is diminished for each incorrect answer, we provide opportunities to use data mining strategies to assess thousands of students' actions for evidence of problem solving strategies and mastery of concepts. We will show preliminary results from application of this approach to a ~90 student introductory geohazard course that is migrating toward online instruction. We hope more continuous assessment of students' performances will help generate cognitive models that can
Seidel, Shannon B.; Reggi, Amanda L.; Schinske, Jeffrey N.; Burrus, Laura W.; Tanner, Kimberly D.
Instructors create classroom environments that have the potential to impact learning by affecting student motivation, resistance, and self-efficacy. However, despite the critical importance of the learning environment in increasing conceptual understanding, little research has investigated what instructors say and do to create learning environments in college biology classrooms. We systematically investigated the language used by instructors that does not directly relate to course content and defined the construct of Instructor Talk. Transcripts were generated from a semester-long, cotaught introductory biology course (n = 270 students). Transcripts were analyzed using a grounded theory approach to identify emergent categories of Instructor Talk. The five emergent categories from analysis of more than 600 quotes were, in order of prevalence, 1) Building the Instructor/Student Relationship, 2) Establishing Classroom Culture, 3) Explaining Pedagogical Choices, 4) Sharing Personal Experiences, and 5) Unmasking Science. Instances of Instructor Talk were present in every class session analyzed and ranged from six to 68 quotes per session. The Instructor Talk framework is a novel research variable that could yield insights into instructor effectiveness, origins of student resistance, and methods for overcoming stereotype threat. Additionally, it holds promise in professional development settings to assist instructors in reflecting on the learning environments they create. PMID:26582237
Dinov, Ivo D; Sanchez, Juana; Christou, Nicolas
Technology-based instruction represents a new recent pedagogical paradigm that is rooted in the realization that new generations are much more comfortable with, and excited about, new technologies. The rapid technological advancement over the past decade has fueled an enormous demand for the integration of modern networking, informational and computational tools with classical pedagogical instruments. Consequently, teaching with technology typically involves utilizing a variety of IT and multimedia resources for online learning, course management, electronic course materials, and novel tools of communication, engagement, experimental, critical thinking and assessment.The NSF-funded Statistics Online Computational Resource (SOCR) provides a number of interactive tools for enhancing instruction in various undergraduate and graduate courses in probability and statistics. These resources include online instructional materials, statistical calculators, interactive graphical user interfaces, computational and simulation applets, tools for data analysis and visualization. The tools provided as part of SOCR include conceptual simulations and statistical computing interfaces, which are designed to bridge between the introductory and the more advanced computational and applied probability and statistics courses. In this manuscript, we describe our designs for utilizing SOCR technology in instruction in a recent study. In addition, present the results of the effectiveness of using SOCR tools at two different course intensity levels on three outcome measures: exam scores, student satisfaction and choice of technology to complete assignments. Learning styles assessment was completed at baseline. We have used three very different designs for three different undergraduate classes. Each course included a treatment group, using the SOCR resources, and a control group, using classical instruction techniques. Our findings include marginal effects of the SOCR treatment per individual
Full Text Available A common problem educators from different areas face is to fit the increasing amount of information with the maintenance and/or, not seldom, a decrease in the class load of their courses. This actual situation necessarily forces the educator to severely select the topics to be worked out. In the cur rent scenario of most teaching institutions, this decision is taken by the teacher. In order to do this, a list of the topics considered to be essential for an appropriate biochemistry course is necessary. Taking for granted that questions from biochemistry courses tests reflect the topics considered most relevant by teachers, questions from different courses offered by Biochemistry Department of USP were analyzed. The objective of this analysis was to answer two main questions, namely (1 Which is the exte nt and depth of the common topics in biochemistry introductory courses? and (2 Are there (and , if there are, which are they? specific topics for different careers? The method we adopted was to verify the demanded topics in written tests and to classify their cognitive level according to Bloom’s Taxonomy. The most recurring topics found are Protein Structure and Metabolism Regulation. The results indicate a strong predominance of low-level categories (Knowledge e Comprehension, with little occurrence of high-level categories (from Application on. It is expected, from further development of this study, to outline the topics considered relevant to set the basis for the discussion on the establishment of a minimum curriculum for biochemistry courses. Key words: Bloom’s Taxonomy, minimum curriculum, written tests analysis.
Hoffman, Kathleen; Leupen, Sarah; Dowell, Kathy; Kephart, Kerrie; Leips, Jeff
Redesigning undergraduate biology courses to integrate quantitative reasoning and skill development is critical to prepare students for careers in modern medicine and scientific research. In this paper, we report on the development, implementation, and assessment of stand-alone modules that integrate quantitative reasoning into introductory biology courses. Modules are designed to improve skills in quantitative numeracy, interpreting data sets using visual tools, and making inferences about biological phenomena using mathematical/statistical models. We also examine demographic/background data that predict student improvement in these skills through exposure to these modules. We carried out pre/postassessment tests across four semesters and used student interviews in one semester to examine how students at different levels approached quantitative problems. We found that students improved in all skills in most semesters, although there was variation in the degree of improvement among skills from semester to semester. One demographic variable, transfer status, stood out as a major predictor of the degree to which students improved (transfer students achieved much lower gains every semester, despite the fact that pretest scores in each focus area were similar between transfer and nontransfer students). We propose that increased exposure to quantitative skill development in biology courses is effective at building competency in quantitative reasoning. © 2016 K. Hoffman, S. Leupen, et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Dang, Nathan V; Chiang, Jacob C; Brown, Heather M; McDonald, Kelly K
This study explores the impacts of repeated curricular activities designed to promote metacognitive skills development and academic achievement on students in an introductory biology course. Prior to this study, the course curriculum was enhanced with pre-assignments containing comprehension monitoring and self-evaluation questions, exam review assignments with reflective questions related to study habits, and an optional opportunity for students to explore metacognition and deep versus surface learning. We used a mixed-methods study design and collected data over two semesters. Self-evaluation, a component of metacognition, was measured via exam score postdictions, in which students estimated their exam scores after completing their exam. Metacognitive awareness was assessed using the Metacognitive Awareness Inventory (MAI) and a reflective essay designed to gauge students' perceptions of their metacognitive skills and study habits. In both semesters, more students over-predicted their Exam 1 scores than under-predicted, and statistical tests revealed significantly lower mean exam scores for the over-predictors. By Exam 3, under-predictors still scored significantly higher on the exam, but they outnumbered the over-predictors. Lower-performing students also displayed a significant increase in exam postdiction accuracy by Exam 3. While there was no significant difference in students' MAI scores from the beginning to the end of the semester, qualitative analysis of reflective essays indicated that students benefitted from the assignments and could articulate clear action plans to improve their learning and performance. Our findings suggest that assignments designed to promote metacognition can have an impact on students over the course of one semester and may provide the greatest benefits to lower-performing students.
Myers, J. D.; Campbell-Stone, E.; Massey, G.
Modern societies consume vast quantities of Earth resources at unsustainable levels; at the same time, resource extraction, processing, production, use and disposal have resulted in environmental damage severe enough to threaten the life-support systems of our planet. These threats are produced by multiple, integrative and cumulative environmental stresses, i.e. syndromes, which result from human physical, ecological and social interactions with the environment in specific geographic places. In recent decades, recognition of this growing threat has lead to the concept of sustainability. The science needed to provide the knowledge and know-how for a successful sustainability transition differs markedly from the science that built our modern world. Sustainability science must balanced basic and applied research, promote integrative research focused on specific problems and devise a means of merging fundamental, general scientific principles with understanding of specific places. At the same time, it must use a variety of knowledge areas, i.e. biological systems, Earth systems, technological systems and social systems, to devise solutions to the many complex and difficult problems humankind faces. Clearly, sustainability science is far removed from the discipline-based science taught in most U.S. colleges. Many introductory science courses focus on content, lack context and do not integrate scientific disciplines. To prepare the citizens who will confront future sustainability issues as well as the scientists needed to devise future sustainability strategies, educators and scientists must redesign the typical college science course. A new course paradigm, Literacies and Scientific Content in Social Context (L(SC)2), is ideally suited to teach sustainability science. It offers an alternative approach to liberal science education by redefining and expanding the concept of the interdisciplinary course and merging it with the integrated science course. In addition to
F. J. Kontur
Full Text Available We examine how student aptitudes impact how much students learn from doing graded online and written homework in an introductory electricity and magnetism course. Our analysis examines the correlation between successful homework completion rates and exam performance as well as how changes in homework completion correlate with changes in exam scores for students with different physics aptitudes. On average, successfully completing many homework problems correlated to better exam scores only for students with high physics aptitude. On the other hand, all other students showed zero or even a negative correlation between successful homework completion and exam performance. Low- and medium-aptitude students who did more homework did no better and sometimes scored lower on exams than their low- and medium-aptitude peers who did less homework. Our work also shows that long-term changes in homework completion correlated to long-term changes in exam scores only for students with high physics aptitude, but not for students with medium or low aptitude. We offer several explanations for the disparity in homework learning gains, including cognitive load theory, ineffective homework strategies, and various mismatches between homework and exams. Several solutions are proposed to address these possible deficiencies in graded online and written homework.
Webb, Angela W.; Bunch, J. C.; Wallace, Maria F. G.
In today's technological age, visions for technology integration in the classroom continue to be explored and examined. Digital game-based learning is one way to purposefully integrate technology while maintaining a focus on learning objectives. This case study sought to understand agriscience teachers' experiences implementing digital game-based learning in an introductory animal science course. From interviews with agriscience teachers on their experiences with the game, three themes emerged: (1) the constraints of inadequate and inappropriate technologies, and time to game implementation; (2) the shift in teacher and student roles necessitated by implementing the game; and (3) the inherent competitive nature of learning through the game. Based on these findings, we recommend that pre-service and in-service professional development opportunities be developed for teachers to learn how to implement digital game-based learning effectively. Additionally, with the potential for simulations that address cross-cutting concepts in the next generation science standards, digital game-based learning should be explored in various science teaching and learning contexts.
Hardegree-Ullman, Kevin; Impey, C. D.; Patikkal, A.
This year we implemented Teach Astronomy (www.teachastronomy.com) as a free online resource to be used as a teaching tool for non-science major astronomy courses and for a general audience interested in the subject. The comprehensive content includes: an introductory astronomy text book by Chris Impey, astronomy articles on Wikipedia, images from the Astronomy Picture of the Day, two to three minute topical video clips by Chris Impey, podcasts from 365 Days of Astronomy, and astronomy news from Science Daily. Teach Astronomy utilizes a novel technology to cluster, display, and navigate search results, called a Wikimap. Steep increases in textbook prices and the unique capabilities of emerging web technology motivated the development of this free online resource. Recent additions to Teach Astronomy include: images and diagrams for the textbook articles, mobile device implementation, and suggested homework assignments for instructors that utilize recent discoveries in astronomy. We present an overview of how Teach Astronomy has been implemented for use in the classroom and informal settings, and suggestions for utilizing the rich content and features of the web site.
Austin, Carmen; Impey, C. D.; Hardegree-Ullman, K.; Patikkal, A.; Ganesan, N.
Teach Astronomy (www.teachastronomy.com) is a new, free online resource—a teaching tool for non-science major astronomy courses and a reference guide for lifelong learners interested in the subject. Digital content available includes: a comprehensive introductory astronomy textbook by Chris Impey, Wikipedia astronomy articles, images from Astronomy Picture of the Day archives and AstroPix database, two to three minute topical video clips by Chris Impey, podcasts from 365 Days of Astronomy archives, and an RSS feed of astronomy news from Science Daily. Teach Astronomy features an original technology called the Wikimap to cluster, display, and navigate site search results. Motivation behind the development of Teach Astronomy includes steep increases in textbook prices, the rapid adoption by students and the public of digital resources, and the modern capabilities of digital technology. Recent additions to Teach Astronomy include: AstroPix images—from some of the most advanced observatories and complete with metadata, mobile device functionality, links to WikiSky where users can see the location of astronomical objects in the sky, and end of chapter textbook review questions. Next in line for development are assignments for classroom use. We present suggestions for utilizing the rich content and features of the web site.
Kontur, F. J.; de La Harpe, K.; Terry, N. B.
We examine how student aptitudes impact how much students learn from doing graded online and written homework in an introductory electricity and magnetism course. Our analysis examines the correlation between successful homework completion rates and exam performance as well as how changes in homework completion correlate with changes in exam scores for students with different physics aptitudes. On average, successfully completing many homework problems correlated to better exam scores only for students with high physics aptitude. On the other hand, all other students showed zero or even a negative correlation between successful homework completion and exam performance. Low- and medium-aptitude students who did more homework did no better and sometimes scored lower on exams than their low- and medium-aptitude peers who did less homework. Our work also shows that long-term changes in homework completion correlated to long-term changes in exam scores only for students with high physics aptitude, but not for students with medium or low aptitude. We offer several explanations for the disparity in homework learning gains, including cognitive load theory, ineffective homework strategies, and various mismatches between homework and exams. Several solutions are proposed to address these possible deficiencies in graded online and written homework.
Fuselier, Linda; Murphy, Claudia; Bender, Anita; Creel Falcón, Kandace
Background and purpose:The purpose of this exploratory case study is to describe how scholars negotiated disciplinary divides to develop and communicate to their students an understanding of the basic features of scientific knowledge. Our goals were to examine boundary crossing in interdisciplinary collaboration and to assess the efficacy of adding science content to an introductory Women's Studies course. Sample:We studied a collaboration between faculty in Biology and Women's Studies and evaluated science modules in a Women's Studies course at a regional four-year university in the Midwestern USA. The study included 186 student participants over three semesters and four faculty from Philosophy, Women's Studies and Biology. Design and method:Women's Studies and Biology faculty collaborated to design and implement science content learning modules that included the case of women and science in an introductory Women's Studies course. Qualitative data collected from faculty participants in the form of peer debrief sessions and narrative reflections were used to examine the process of interdisciplinary collaboration. Students exposed to curriculum changes were administered pre- and post-lesson surveys to evaluate their understanding of issues faced by women in science careers, the nature of science, and interest in science studies. Data from collaborators, student journal reflections, and pre-/post-lesson surveys were considered together in an evaluation of how knowledge of science was understood and taught in a Women's Studies course over a longitudinal study of three semesters. Results:We found evidence of discipline-based challenges to interdisciplinarity and disciplinary boundary crossing among collaborators. Three themes emerged from our collaboration: challenges posed by disciplinary differences, creation of a space for interdisciplinary work, and evidence of boundary crossing. Student participants exhibited more prior knowledge of Women's Studies content than
Hopper, K. Megan; Huxford, John
This study explores how introductory news writing textbooks address issues surrounding emotional labor and its consequences, both for journalists and for those they interview. Eighteen of the highest-selling introductory news-writing textbooks were selected for qualitative analysis. Results showed the term and concept of emotional labor--the…
Seidel, Shannon B; Reggi, Amanda L; Schinske, Jeffrey N; Burrus, Laura W; Tanner, Kimberly D
Instructors create classroom environments that have the potential to impact learning by affecting student motivation, resistance, and self-efficacy. However, despite the critical importance of the learning environment in increasing conceptual understanding, little research has investigated what instructors say and do to create learning environments in college biology classrooms. We systematically investigated the language used by instructors that does not directly relate to course content and defined the construct of Instructor Talk. Transcripts were generated from a semester-long, cotaught introductory biology course (n = 270 students). Transcripts were analyzed using a grounded theory approach to identify emergent categories of Instructor Talk. The five emergent categories from analysis of more than 600 quotes were, in order of prevalence, 1) Building the Instructor/Student Relationship, 2) Establishing Classroom Culture, 3) Explaining Pedagogical Choices, 4) Sharing Personal Experiences, and 5) Unmasking Science. Instances of Instructor Talk were present in every class session analyzed and ranged from six to 68 quotes per session. The Instructor Talk framework is a novel research variable that could yield insights into instructor effectiveness, origins of student resistance, and methods for overcoming stereotype threat. Additionally, it holds promise in professional development settings to assist instructors in reflecting on the learning environments they create. © 2015 S. B. Seidel et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2015 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Buerdsell, Sherri Lynn
As an institution of higher education and as a Hispanic-serving institution, New Mexico State University has a responsibility to its students to provide the skills and experiences necessary for each and every student to become a responsible, reflective citizen, capable of making informed decisions. Postsecondary science has traditionally been taught through lectures. Traditional lecture classes simply do not meet the needs of diverse groups of students in the modern multicultural student body like New Mexico State University's. However, the implementation of nontraditional pedagogy without evaluation of the results is useless as a step to reform; it is necessary to evaluate the results of in situ nontraditional pedagogy to determine its worth. The purpose of this research is to analyze the development and change in students' critical thinking skills, and critical thinking dispositions in single semester in an introductory Environmental Science course. This study utilized a mixed methods approach. The California Critical Thinking Skills Test and the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory were administered in the beginning and at the end of the semester. The pretest was used to provide a baseline for each participant against which the posttest score was compared. In addition, student interviews, field notes, and a survey provided qualitative data, which generated themes regarding the development of student critical thinking in this course. The results indicated there were no significant differences in the critical thinking test scores. However, qualitative analysis indicated that students experienced significant changes in critical thinking. Three themes emerged from the qualitative analysis pertaining to the amount of influence on student learning. These themes are active thinking and learning, dialogue, and professor's influence. Due to the conflict between the quantitative and the qualitative results, it is suggested that the critical thinking tests
Full Text Available This paper discusses the proposed model of the collaborative virtual learning system for the introductory computer programming course which uses one of the collaborative learning techniques known as the “Think-Pair-Share”. The main objective of this study is to design a model for an online learning system that facilitates the collaborative learning activities in a virtual environment such as online communications and pair or small group discussions. In order to model the virtual learning environment, the RUP methodology has been used where it involves the data collection phase and the analysis and design phase. Fifty respondents have been randomly selected to participate in the data collection phase to investigate the students’ interest and learning styles as well as their learning preferences. The results have shown the needs for the development of online small group discussions that can be used as an alternative learning style for programming courses. The proposed design of the virtual learning system named as the Online Collaborative Learning System or OCLS is being depicted using the object-oriented models which are the use-case model and class diagram in order to show the concise processes of virtual “Think-Pair-Share” collaborative activities. The “Think-Pair-Share” collaborative learning technique that is being used in this model has been chosen because of its simplicity and relatively low-risk. This paper also presents the proposed model of the system’s architecture that will become the guidelines for the physical development of OCLS using the web-based applications.
Reeves, Todd D; Warner, Douglas M; Ludlow, Larry H; O'Connor, Clare M
National reports have called for the introduction of research experiences throughout the undergraduate curriculum, but practical implementation at many institutions faces challenges associated with sustainability, cost, and large student populations. We describe a novel course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) that introduces introductory-level students to research in functional genomics in a 3-credit, multisection laboratory class. In the Pathways over Time class project, students study the functional conservation of the methionine biosynthetic pathway between divergent yeast species. Over the five semesters described in this study, students ( N = 793) showed statistically significant and sizable growth in content knowledge ( d = 1.85) and in self-reported research methods skills ( d = 0.65), experimental design, oral and written communication, database use, and collaboration. Statistical analyses indicated that content knowledge growth was larger for underrepresented minority students and that growth in content knowledge, but not research skills, varied by course section. Our findings add to the growing body of evidence that CUREs can support the scientific development of large numbers of students with diverse characteristics. The Pathways over Time project is designed to be sustainable and readily adapted to other institutional settings. © 2018 T. D. Reeves et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2018 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Baer, E. M.; Wenner, J. M.
Web usage statistics and a recent survey of visitors to The Math You Need, When You Need It (TMYN) suggest that these web resources serve a significant number of students beyond those for whom they were originally intended. The web-based modules of TMYN are asynchronous online resources designed to help undergraduates learn quantitative concepts essential in a concurrent introductory geoscience course. In the past year, approximately 1,000 students accessed TMYN through associated geoscience courses; however, in that same time period,more than 40 times that number interacted significantly with the site according to Google Analytics. Of the nearly 220,000 total visitors, ~15% stayed on the site for longer than one minute and ~20% visited two or more pages within the site, suggesting that the content is engaging and useful to many of the visitors. In a pop-up survey of users, 81% of the nearly 350 respondents reported that they found what they were looking for. Although the nature of TMYN website users is difficult to discern definitively, daily, weekly and monthly use patterns indicate a predominance of academic users. Access to the site is lowest during the summer months and on Friday and Saturday, and is elevated on Sunday through Thursdays. Furthermore, in a pop-up survey of users who accessed more than one page, greater than half (56%) of the 346 respondents were students, 20% collegiate faculty and 9% K-12 teachers. Although the resources are specifically designed for geoscience students, 61% of survey respondents identified themselves as associated with other STEM disciplines. Thus, despite the decidedly geoscientific slant to these resources, survey data suggest that many STEM students and teachers are searching for the kinds of topics covered by TMYN. Furthermore, web use statistics indicate a substantial need for high quality web-based quantitative skill support materials for all STEM disciplines.
Montplaisir, Lisa Marie
The purpose of this study was to explore the course conditions that support the development of meaningful student learning in an introductory undergraduate human anatomy and physiology course. The study was conducted during an 8-week summer-session at a small mid-western university. Classroom observations and taped recordings of class sessions were used to determine content episodes within the instructional unit, opportunities for learning created by the instructor, demonstrations of information processing by the students, and the ways in which the instructor used the Personal Response System (PRS). Student interviews were used to determine students' level of understanding of pre-test and post-test items. Student interviews and a questionnaire were used to determine students' perceptions of the PRS as a learning tool. Findings reveal that the instructor had different expectations of students when posing verbal questions in-class than he had when posing PRS questions. The use of verbal questions did not permit demonstrations of student understanding; however, the use of the PRS did result in demonstrations of student understanding. Questions posed via the use of the PRS were categorized according to cognitive level. The cognitive level of the questions increased with time over the instructional unit and within the content episodes. Students demonstrated deeper understanding of the topics after instruction than they did before instruction. Students reported more in-class thinking about the content, more discussion of the content with their neighbors, more regular class attendance, more opportunities for deeper learning, and a general preference for the PRS over traditional lectures. Findings of the study indicate that the instructional decisions about the use of questions influences the opportunities for students to process information and demonstrate their understanding of the content and that students valued these opportunities. A better understanding of the
Lin, Shih-Yin; Aiken, John M.; Seaton, Daniel T.; Douglas, Scott S.; Greco, Edwin F.; Thoms, Brian D.; Schatz, Michael F.
The advent of new educational technologies has stimulated interest in using online videos to deliver content in university courses. We examined student engagement with 78 online videos that we created and were incorporated into a one-semester flipped introductory mechanics course at the Georgia Institute of Technology. We found that students were more engaged with videos that supported laboratory activities than with videos that presented lecture content. In particular, the percentage of students accessing laboratory videos was consistently greater than 80% throughout the semester. On the other hand, the percentage of students accessing lecture videos dropped to less than 40% by the end of the term. Moreover, the fraction of students accessing the entirety of a video decreases when videos become longer in length, and this trend is more prominent for the lecture videos than the laboratory videos. The results suggest that students may access videos based on perceived value: students appear to consider the laboratory videos as essential for successfully completing the laboratories while they appear to consider the lecture videos as something more akin to supplemental material. In this study, we also found that there was little correlation between student engagement with the videos and their incoming background. There was also little correlation found between student engagement with the videos and their performance in the course. An examination of the in-video content suggests that students engaged more with concrete information that is explicitly required for assignment completion (e.g., actions required to complete laboratory work, or formulas or mathematical expressions needed to solve particular problems) and less with content that is considered more conceptual in nature. It was also found that students' in-video accesses usually increased toward the embedded interaction points. However, students did not necessarily access the follow-up discussion of these
Cepriá, Gemma; Salvatella, Luis
All pH calculations for simple acid-base systems used in introductory courses on general or analytical chemistry can be carried out by using a general procedure requiring the use of predominance diagrams. In particular, the pH is calculated as the sum of an independent term equaling the average pK[subscript a] values of the acids involved in the…
Full Text Available Students� attitude, including perceived usefulness, is generally associated with academic success. The related research in statistics education has focused almost exclusively on the role of attitude in explaining and predicting academic learning outcomes, hence there is a paucity of research evidence on how attitude (particularly perceived usefulness impacts students� intentions to use and stay engaged in statistics beyond the introductory course. This study explored the relationship between college students� perception of the usefulness of an introductory statistics course, their beliefs about where statistics will be most useful, and their intentions to take another statistics course. A cross-sectional study of 106 students was conducted. The mean rating for usefulness was 4.7 (out of 7, with no statistically significant differences based on gender and age. Sixty-four percent reported that they would consider taking another statistics course, and this subgroup rated the course as more useful (p = .01. The majority (67% reported that statistics would be most useful for either graduate school or research, whereas 14% indicated their job, and 19% were undecided. The �undecided� students had the lowest mean rating for usefulness of the course (p = .001. Addressing data, in the context of real-world problem-solving and decision-making, could facilitate students to better appreciate the usefulness and practicality of statistics. Qualitative research methods could help to elucidate these findings.
The goal of this work was to develop activity-based learning materials for the introductory transportation engineering course : with the purpose of increasing student understanding and concept retention. These materials were to cover intersection : o...
Hundley, Stacey A.
In recent years there has been a national call for reform in undergraduate science education. The goal of this reform movement in science education is to develop ways to improve undergraduate student learning with an emphasis on developing more effective teaching practices. Introductory science courses at the college level are generally taught using a traditional lecture format. Recent studies have shown incorporating active learning strategies within the traditional lecture classroom has positive effects on student outcomes. This study focuses on incorporating interactive teaching methods into the traditional lecture classroom to enhance student learning for non-science majors enrolled in introductory geology courses at a private university. Students' experience and instructional preferences regarding introductory geology courses were identified from survey data analysis. The information gained from responses to the questionnaire was utilized to develop an interactive lecture introductory geology course for non-science majors. Student outcomes were examined in introductory geology courses based on two teaching methods: interactive lecture and traditional lecture. There were no significant statistical differences between the groups based on the student outcomes and teaching methods. Incorporating interactive lecture methods did not statistically improve student outcomes when compared to traditional lecture teaching methods. However, the responses to the survey revealed students have a preference for introductory geology courses taught with lecture and instructor-led discussions and students prefer to work independently or in small groups. The results of this study are useful to individuals who teach introductory geology courses and individuals who teach introductory science courses for non-science majors at the college level.
Thompson, E. David; Bowling, Bethany V.; Markle, Ross E.
Studies over the last 30 years have considered various factors related to student success in introductory biology courses. While much of the available literature suggests that the best predictors of success in a college course are prior college grade point average (GPA) and class attendance, faculty often require a valuable predictor of success in those courses wherein the majority of students are in the first semester and have no previous record of college GPA or attendance. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of the ACT Mathematics subject exam and Lawson's Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning in predicting success in a major's introductory biology course. A logistic regression was utilized to determine the effectiveness of a combination of scientific reasoning (SR) scores and ACT math (ACT-M) scores to predict student success. In summary, we found that the model—with both SR and ACT-M as significant predictors—could be an effective predictor of student success and thus could potentially be useful in practical decision making for the course, such as directing students to support services at an early point in the semester.
Sletten, Sarah Rae
In flipped classrooms, lectures, which are normally delivered in-class, are assigned as homework in the form of videos, and assignments that were traditionally assigned as homework, are done as learning activities in class. It was hypothesized that the effectiveness of the flipped model hinges on a student's desire and ability to adopt a self-directed learning style. The purpose of this study was twofold; it aimed at examining the relationship between two variables—students' perceptions of the flipped model and their self-regulated learning (SRL) behaviors—and the impact that these variables have on achievement in a flipped class. For the study, 76 participants from a flipped introductory biology course were asked about their SRL strategy use and perceptions of the flipped model. SRL strategy use was measured using a modified version of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ; Wolters et al. 2005), while the flipped perceptions survey was newly derived. Student letter grades were collected as a measure of achievement. Through regression analysis, it was found that students' perceptions of the flipped model positively predict students' use of several types of SRL strategies. However, the data did not indicate a relationship between student perceptions and achievement, neither directly nor indirectly, through SRL strategy use. Results suggest that flipped classrooms demonstrate their successes in the active learning sessions through constructivist teaching methods. Video lectures hold an important role in flipped classes, however, students may need to practice SRL skills to become more self-directed and effectively learn from them.
Moore, James Christopher
We have investigated the efficacy of on-line, multimedia learning modules (MLMs) as preparation for in-class, lecture-based tutorials in electromagnetism in a physics course for natural science majors (biology and marine science). Specifically, we report the results of a multiple-group pre/post-test research design comparing two groups receiving…
Workman Ford, K.; Ford, K. R.
Undergraduate introductory geology courses are required in many colleges nationwide as part of the general education requirement. As a result, a large portion of those students are non-majors and most are not science majors. Textbooks used in these courses are often extensive with respect to the amount of material covered which tends to be overwhelming to the average student. Thus, students often purchase the pricey textbook but turn to their smartphones, notebooks, and laptops for answers. Before the development of the internet, students spent many hours in libraries and with their textbooks organizing and retrieving information. However, new technologies in the 21st century have essentially replaced traditional textbooks with students turning to online search engines, such as Google, to study and to complete homework assignments. Presently, online search engines may be more intuitive, but what's going on in the background isn't intuitive at all, and few students have a clear understanding of how search engines operate. Effectively this leads to students without the conception of how to build an adequate search strategy independent of search engines. Often, students are directed to online encyclopedias that may have erroneous information. Here, we employ an alternative to traditional textbooks and online search engines by implementing a guidebook with electronic resources for online activities and homework assignments. The proposed guidebook is roughly modeled after the American Geosciences Institute's Geoscience Handbook: AGI Data Sheets 4th, revised edition, and will include diagrams, graphs, charts, and pictures of basic geologic principles, processes, and earth materials. Along with the information, each topic will have online resources including sites for general reading, specific assignments that require visiting scientifically sound websites (i.e., USGS, GSA, AGU, Science, Nature), online self-assessment activities, and Google Earth activities. In addition
Gordon, E. S.
Fitchburg State University has a diverse student population comprised largely of students traditionally underrepresented in higher education, including first-generation, low-income, and/or students with disabilities. Approximately half of our incoming students require developmental math coursework, but often enroll in science classes prior to completing those courses. Since our introductory geoscience courses (Oceanography, Meteorology, Geology, Earth Systems Science) do not have prerequisites, many students who take them lack basic math skills, but are taking these courses alongside science majors. In order to provide supplemental math instruction without sacrificing time for content, "The Math You Need, When You Need It (TMYN), a set of online math tutorials placed in a geoscience context, will be implemented in three of our introductory courses (Oceanography, Meteorology, and Earth Systems Science) during Fall, 2011. Students will complete 5-6 modules asynchronously, the topics of which include graphing skills, calculating rates, unit conversions, and rearranging equations. Assessment of quantitative skills will be tracked with students' pre- and post-test results, as well as individual module quiz scores. In addition, student assessment results from Oceanography will be compared to student data from Academic Year 2010-11, during which quantitative skills were evaluated with pre- and post-test questions, but students did not receive online supplemental instruction.
Full Text Available [This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Gender in Physics.] Active-learning approaches to teaching introductory physics have been found to improve student learning and affective gains on short-term outcomes [S. Freeman et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 111, 8410 (2014]; however, whether or not the benefits of active learning impact women to the same degree as men has been a point of concern [A. Madsen, S. B. McKagan, and E. C. Sayre, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 9, 020121 (2013]. Further, the long-term impacts of active-learning experiences are also understudied. At Florida International University, a Hispanic-majority institution, we have implemented Modeling Instruction (MI and the Integrated Science Learning Environment (ISLE in introductory physics classes for the past decade. In this empirical paper, we report on a longitudinal investigation of student performance and persistence in upper level physics courses after having previously experienced MI or ISLE in their introductory physics courses, and disaggregate students by gender. Using survival analysis methods, we find women who declare physics as a major are more likely than men to graduate with a physics degree. Women are also just as likely as men to pass through the upper division courses, with the highest failure risk for both men and women occurring in the first semester of upper-division course taking. These results reinforce the need to expand considerations of performance outcomes to be longitudinal to measure the effectiveness of the entire physics experience.
Rodriguez, Idaykis; Potvin, Geoff; Kramer, Laird H.
[This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Gender in Physics.] Active-learning approaches to teaching introductory physics have been found to improve student learning and affective gains on short-term outcomes [S. Freeman et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 111, 8410 (2014)]; however, whether or not the benefits of active learning impact women to the same degree as men has been a point of concern [A. Madsen, S. B. McKagan, and E. C. Sayre, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 9, 020121 (2013)]. Further, the long-term impacts of active-learning experiences are also understudied. At Florida International University, a Hispanic-majority institution, we have implemented Modeling Instruction (MI) and the Integrated Science Learning Environment (ISLE) in introductory physics classes for the past decade. In this empirical paper, we report on a longitudinal investigation of student performance and persistence in upper level physics courses after having previously experienced MI or ISLE in their introductory physics courses, and disaggregate students by gender. Using survival analysis methods, we find women who declare physics as a major are more likely than men to graduate with a physics degree. Women are also just as likely as men to pass through the upper division courses, with the highest failure risk for both men and women occurring in the first semester of upper-division course taking. These results reinforce the need to expand considerations of performance outcomes to be longitudinal to measure the effectiveness of the entire physics experience.
Perkins, D.; Budd, D. A.; Stempien, J. A.; Kraft, K.; Matheney, R. K.; McConnell, D.; Wirth, K. R.; Bykerk-Kauffman, A.
The Geoscience Affective Research Network (GARNET) quantified the relationship between classroom teaching styles, student learning, and students’ motivations and attitudes for 14 different instructors at 2 community colleges, a private college, and 4 large public universities. Instruction was characterized with the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP). The 0-100 scale reflects the span between traditional instructor-centered lecture and interactive, student-centered courses. Every participating instructor was observed at least twice. Student learning was measured using a 15-question concept inventory (CI) focused on geologic time and plate tectonics. Twelve questions were from the Geologic Concept Inventory of Libarkin and Anderson (2005) and 3 questions were added on relative time. Students’ affective domain was measured using the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ), 81 questions that define 15 motivation and cognitive subcategories. 1152 students completed both surveys in the 2nd and 14th weeks of their class during the 2008-2010 academic years. RTOP scores ranged from 19 to 87. Learning gains ranged from 18.6% to 47.4% with students learning significantly more from instructors with higher RTOP scores. Learning gains and RTOP positively covary (R2 = 0.67). Adjusting for questions on which students scored high prior to instruction (>90% correct), results in an even stronger relationship (R2 = 0.89). Higher RTOP scores correlate to significant declines in many aspects of student motivation (extrinsic and intrinsic goals, task value, control of learning, and effort regulation). Declines occur mainly in lower and/or middle performing students as measured by grades. The highest performing students only show declines with respect to their control of learning beliefs. Students’ self-efficacy also declines with increasing use of student-student interactions. Higher RTOP scores only exhibit positive correlations to a few aspects of
Glover, Robert W.; Tagliarina, Daniel
Political science is a challenging field, particularly when it comes to undergraduate teaching. If we are to engage in something more than uncritical ideological instruction, it demands from the student a willingness to approach alien political ideas with intellectual generosity. Yet, students within introductory classes often harbor inherited…
Baily, Charles; Finkelstein, Noah D.
Most introductory quantum physics instructors would agree that transitioning students from classical to quantum thinking is an important learning goal, but may disagree on whether or how this can be accomplished. Although (and perhaps because) physicists have long debated the physical interpretation of quantum theory, many instructors choose to…
Zimmerman, Whitney Alicia; Johnson, Glenn
Data were collected from 353 online undergraduate introductory statistics students at the beginning of a semester using the Goals and Outcomes Associated with Learning Statistics (GOALS) instrument and an abbreviated form of the Statistics Anxiety Rating Scale (STARS). Data included a survey of expected grade, expected time commitment, and the…
The pmg add-on package for the open source statistics software R is described. This package provides a simple to use graphical user interface (GUI) that allows introductory statistics students, without advanced computing skills, to quickly create the graphical and numeric summaries expected of them. (Contains 9 figures.)
Kim, Albert Y.; Escobedo-Land, Adriana
We present a data set consisting of user profile data for 59,946 San Francisco OkCupid users (a free online dating website) from June 2012. The data set includes typical user information, lifestyle variables, and text responses to 10 essay questions. We present four example analyses suitable for use in undergraduate introductory probability and…
Zimmer, Robert; Koernig, Stephen K.; Greene, Scott
For almost three decades, the AACSB and business leaders have sought increased emphasis on internationalizing students' perspectives. Recent studies demonstrate mixed results in the extent to which business schools have globalized their curricula. With decreasing student interest in the marketing major, Introductory Marketing emerges as a critical…
Boltax, Ariana L.; Armanious, Stephanie; Kosinski-Collins, Melissa S.; Pontrello, Jason K.
Modern research often requires collaboration of experts in fields, such as math, chemistry, biology, physics, and computer science to develop unique solutions to common problems. Traditional introductory undergraduate laboratory curricula in the sciences often do not emphasize connections possible between the various disciplines. We designed an…
Park, Seung Won; Huynh, Niem Tu
University students who do not declare geography as their major are at risk of poor motivation to learn in an introductory geography class. However, research exploring the role of non-majors' motivation is lacking. This study examines motivational factors impacting non-geography students' engagement and performance. The findings suggest that…
Wrinkle, Cheryl Schaefer; Manivannan, Mani K.
The K-W-L method of teaching is a simple method that actively engages students in their own learning. It has been used with kindergarten and elementary grades to teach other subjects. The authors have successfully used it to teach physics at the college level. In their introductory physics labs, the K-W-L method helped students think about what…
Focusing on global multiculturalism, this study offers a content review of undergraduate introductory sociology textbooks that are being used in the United States. Through both quantitative and qualitative review of texts, it is found that there is a considerable variation in the way which concepts and latent meanings are embedded within textbook…
Thompson, E. David; Bowling, Bethany V.; Markle, Ross E.
Studies over the last 30 years have considered various factors related to student success in introductory biology courses. While much of the available literature suggests that the best predictors of success in a college course are prior college grade point average (GPA) and class attendance, faculty often require a valuable predictor of success in…
Li, Jing; Singh, Chandralekha
Development of validated physics surveys on various topics is important for investigating the extent to which students master those concepts after traditional instruction and for assessing innovative curricula and pedagogies that can improve student understanding significantly. Here, we discuss the development and validation of a conceptual multiple-choice survey related to magnetism suitable for introductory physics courses. The survey was developed taking into account common students’ difficulties with magnetism concepts covered in introductory physics courses found in our investigation and the incorrect choices to the multiple-choice questions were designed based upon those common student difficulties. After the development and validation of the survey, it was administered to introductory physics students in various classes in paper-pencil format before and after traditional lecture-based instruction in relevant concepts. We compared the performance of students on the survey in the algebra-based and calculus-based introductory physics courses before and after traditional lecture-based instruction in relevant magnetism concepts. We discuss the common difficulties of introductory physics students with magnetism concepts we found via the survey. We also administered the survey to upper-level undergraduates majoring in physics and PhD students to benchmark the survey and compared their performance with those of traditionally taught introductory physics students for whom the survey is intended. A comparison with the base line data on the validated magnetism survey from traditionally taught introductory physics courses and upper-level undergraduate and PhD students discussed in this paper can help instructors assess the effectiveness of curricula and pedagogies which is especially designed to help students integrate conceptual and quantitative understanding and develop a good grasp of the concepts. In particular, if introductory physics students’ average
Li, Jing; Singh, Chandralekha
Development of validated physics surveys on various topics is important for investigating the extent to which students master those concepts after traditional instruction and for assessing innovative curricula and pedagogies that can improve student understanding significantly. Here, we discuss the development and validation of a conceptual multiple-choice survey related to magnetism suitable for introductory physics courses. The survey was developed taking into account common students’ difficulties with magnetism concepts covered in introductory physics courses found in our investigation and the incorrect choices to the multiple-choice questions were designed based upon those common student difficulties. After the development and validation of the survey, it was administered to introductory physics students in various classes in paper–pencil format before and after traditional lecture-based instruction in relevant concepts. We compared the performance of students on the survey in the algebra-based and calculus-based introductory physics courses before and after traditional lecture-based instruction in relevant magnetism concepts. We discuss the common difficulties of introductory physics students with magnetism concepts we found via the survey. We also administered the survey to upper-level undergraduates majoring in physics and PhD students to benchmark the survey and compared their performance with those of traditionally taught introductory physics students for whom the survey is intended. A comparison with the base line data on the validated magnetism survey from traditionally taught introductory physics courses and upper-level undergraduate and PhD students discussed in this paper can help instructors assess the effectiveness of curricula and pedagogies which is especially designed to help students integrate conceptual and quantitative understanding and develop a good grasp of the concepts. In particular, if introductory physics students’ average
Wright, Christian D.; Eddy, Sarah L.; Wenderoth, Mary Pat; Abshire, Elizabeth; Blankenbiller, Margaret; Brownell, Sara E.
Recent reform efforts in undergraduate biology have recommended transforming course exams to test at more cognitively challenging levels, which may mean including more cognitively challenging and more constructed-response questions on assessments. However, changing the characteristics of exams could result in bias against historically underserved groups. In this study, we examined whether and to what extent the characteristics of instructor-generated tests impact the exam performance of male and female and middle/high- and low-socioeconomic status (SES) students enrolled in introductory biology courses. We collected exam scores for 4810 students from 87 unique exams taken across 3 yr of the introductory biology series at a large research university. We determined the median Bloom’s level and the percentage of constructed-response questions for each exam. Despite controlling for prior academic ability in our models, we found that males and middle/high-SES students were disproportionately favored as the Bloom’s level of exams increased. Additionally, middle/high-SES students were favored as the proportion of constructed-response questions on exams increased. Given that we controlled for prior academic ability, our findings do not likely reflect differences in academic ability level. We discuss possible explanations for our findings and how they might impact how we assess our students. PMID:27252299
Chambers, Sara Lang Ketchum
This social action study followed an introductory biology course for a three-year period to determine whether changes in teaching personnel, instructional techniques and reorientation to student-centered learning would impact student performance. The course was redirected from a traditional lecture-laboratory format to one emphasizing active learning inquiry methods. Student retention, achievement, and failure were observed for three years in addition to one year prior, and one year following, the study. The study examined the two semester introductory biology course required of all biology majors and those intending a career in science, medicine or dentistry. During the first semester of the study, the dropout rate decreased from 46% to 21%. Prior to the study, 39% of the students completing the course received a grade of D or F while only 4% received a grade of B or above. During the first semester of the study 14% of the students received a grade of D or F while 46% received a B, B+ or A grade. Similar results were seen in other semesters of the study. A statistical comparison of student retention and performance was carried out using grade data for classes taught by the original faculty, the action study faculty and the post-study faculty. The differences between the original faculty and the action study faculty were statistically significant. Effect size calculations indicated large differences between the action study faculty and the two other faculty groups in terms of student retention, achievement and failure. The results are attributed to both the personnel change and, more significantly, the change in teaching methods and emphasis on student-active learning. Comparison between the pre- and post-study teams showed less dramatic effect sizes than when the action study data were compared with the data from either other team. Nevertheless, the post-study results showed that although the retention rate dropped during the year after the study, the improvement
Full Text Available Objectives: To examine student perceptions regarding online lectures and quizzes undertaken during a pharmaceutical practice course for first year undergraduate students enrolled in the Bachelor of Pharmacy course at an Australian University.Methods: The University uses a standard instrument to collect feedback from students regarding unit satisfaction. Data were collected for three different teaching modalities: traditional face-to-face, online and partially online. Results: Descriptive statistics support that, from a student's perspective, partial online delivery is the preferred teaching methodology for an introductory pharmaceutical practice unit. Conclusion: This study has served to highlight that while there are a few points of significant difference between traditional and online teaching and learning, a combination of the two provides a reasonable avenue for teaching exploration. This result has implications for teaching practice generally, and within the pharmacy discipline, specifically.
Benino, Diana; Girardi, Antonia; Czarniak, Petra
To examine student perceptions regarding online lectures and quizzes undertaken during a pharmaceutical practice course for first year undergraduate students enrolled in the Bachelor of Pharmacy course at an Australian University. The University uses a standard instrument to collect feedback from students regarding unit satisfaction. Data were collected for three different teaching modalities: traditional face-to-face, online and partially online. Descriptive statistics support that, from a student's perspective, partial online delivery is the preferred teaching methodology for an introductory pharmaceutical practice unit. This study has served to highlight that while there are a few points of significant difference between traditional and online teaching and learning, a combination of the two provides a reasonable avenue for teaching exploration. This result has implications for teaching practice generally, and within the pharmacy discipline, specifically.
Berry, Stacy Jane
There has been an increased emphasis for college instruction to incorporate more active and collaborative involvement of students in the learning process. These views have been asserted by The Association of American Colleges (AAC), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and The National Research Counsel (NRC), which are advocating for the modification of traditional instructional techniques to allow students the opportunity to be more cooperative (Task Group on General Education, 1988). This has guided educators and facilitators into shifting teaching paradigms from a teacher centered to a more student-centered curriculum. The present study investigated achievement outcomes and attitudes of learners in a large enrollment (n ~ 200), introductory geology course using a student centered learning cycle format of instruction versus another similar section that used a traditional lecture format. Although the course is a recruiting class for majors, over 95% of the students that enroll are non-majors. Measurements of academic evaluation were through four unit exams, classroom communication systems, weekly web-based homework, in-class activities, and a thematic collaborative poster/paper project and presentation. The qualitative methods to investigate the effectiveness of the teaching design included: direct observation, self-reporting about learning, and open-ended interviews. By disaggregating emerging data, we tried to concentrate on patterns and causal relationships between achievement performance and attitudes regarding learning geology. Statistical analyses revealed positive relationships between student engagement in supplemental activities and achievement mean scores within and between the two sections. Completing weekly online homework had the most robust relationship with overall achievement performance. Contrary to expectations, a thematic group project only led to modest gains in achievement performance, although the social and professional gains could be
Ryan, J. G.
The 2012 PCAST report identified the improvement of "gateway" science courses as critical to increasing the number of STEM graduates to levels commensurate with national needs. The urgent need to recruit/ retain more STEM graduates is particularly acute in the geosciences, where growth in employment opportunities, an aging workforce and flat graduation rates are leading to substantial unmet demand for geoscience-trained STEM graduates. The need to increase the number of Bachelors-level geoscience graduates was an identified priority at the Summit on the Future of Undergraduate Geoscience Education (http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/events/future-of-geoscience-undergraduateeducation/), as was the necessity of focusing on 2-year colleges, where a growing number of students are being introduced to geosciences. Undergraduate research as an instructional tool can help engage and retain students, but has largely not been part of introductory geoscience courses because of the challenge of scaling such activities for large student numbers. However, burgeoning information technology resources, including publicly available earth and planetary data repositories and freely available, intuitive data visualization platforms makes structured, in-classroom investigations of geoscience questions tractable, and open-ended student inquiry possible. Examples include "MARGINS Mini-Lessons", instructional resources developed with the support of two NSF-DUE grant awards that involve investigations of marine geosciences data resources (overseen by the Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA) portal: www.iedadata.org) and data visualization using GeoMapApp (www.geomapapp.org); and the growing suite of Google-Earth based data visualization and exploration activities overseen by the Google Earth in Onsite and Distance Education project (geode.net). Sample-based investigations are also viable in introductory courses, thanks to remote instrument operations technologies that allow real student
Kreps, Jennifer Susan
Instructional stories can be an effective way to teach science concepts. However, research has not examined the extent to which stories are being used, and how they are received. More research on the use of story in biology classes may lead to more conscious use of story by instructors, which may lead to a better understanding of biological concepts by students. The purpose of this study was to examine how instructors and students use stories in university introductory biology courses, and the degree to which these stories are perceived to be effective. To examine this phenomenon, a nationwide instructor survey, a university-wide student survey, and multiple case studies were used. Two case studies included observation of lectures, interviews with (36) students, and interviews with instructors (4) over two semesters of an organismal biology course. Instructor survey participants (N = 78) were gathered by posting email invitations, and student survey participants (N = 260) were volunteers from introductory biology courses at a middle-sized university. Several types of stories were observed, including personal experience stories, historical anecdotes, and "you" stories. Students reported increased affective learning when stories were told, and remembered mostly humorous stories. In the instructor survey, no significant differences emerged between genders, type of biology taught, or communicator style and instructional story frequency. However, reports of personal experience story frequency did increase significantly (p ethnicity, although non-science majors reported that their instructors used stories significantly more frequently (p perceived learning loss for non-science majors, but not for science majors. The researcher suggests that stories can be an effective tool to teach biology, particularly if the instructor is aware of her audience and uses stories primarily to help students understand how concepts are related to "real life."
Doser, D. I.; Villalobos, J. I.; Henry, I. E.
InTeGrate (Interdisciplinary Teaching about Earth for a Sustainable Future) has developed teaching modules that focus on Earth sustainability and Earth-centered societal issues. We have begun to implement modules on climate change, earth materials and freshwater into introductory geology and environmental science courses taught at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), El Paso Community College (EPCC) and local early college high schools (ECHS) for classes of 20 to 220 students. Our eventual goal is to insure students taking introductory classes at any institution will be exposed to comparable content and be similarly prepared for advanced courses. Our initial results suggest that the modules' use of case studies and analysis of authentic data sets are very appealing to our student body (over 70% Hispanic). Since many students do not speak English at home, they were challenged by vocabulary presented in some modules. Modules containing glossaries and extensive background material (such as concept maps and annotated figures) proved very helpful to these students. The use of pre-activity quizzes insured that the students had mastered basic concepts needed for in-class activities. Modifications required to teach these modules in larger classes included condensing materials and reducing the amount of color figures to save paper and printer costs, streamlining dissemination/collection of in-class group assignments, and adapting assignments such as jigsaws and gallery walks to the confines of a large lecture hall with fixed seating. Student reflections indicated students were able to make connections to societal issues and retain these ideas through the end of the courses.
It is often difficult to interest students in a course in social justice using just textbooks. It is now possible to use free, on-line resources that positively affect student interest, comprehension, and participation in a course. Such a course is described. Links to suggested materials are provided.
Full Text Available It is often difficult to interest students in a course in social justice using just textbooks. It is now possible to use free, on-line resources that positively affect student interest, comprehension, and participation in a course. Such a course is described. Links to suggested materials are provided.
Fask, Alan; Englander, Fred; Wang, Zhaobo
There has been a remarkable growth in distance learning courses in higher education. Despite indications that distance learning courses are more vulnerable to cheating behavior than traditional courses, there has been little research studying whether online exams facilitate a relatively greater level of cheating. This article examines this issue…
Bennedsen, Jens; Caspersen, Michael Edelgaard
In order to improve the course design of a CS1 model-driven programming course we study potential indicators of success for such a course. We explain our specific interpretation of objects-first. Of eight potential indicators of success, we have found only two to be significant at a 95% confidence...
Connolly, Heather; Spiller, Dorothy
This paper reports on and evaluates the use of concept mapping as a learning tool in a large first year Management course. The goal was to help students make personal sense of course learning and to build their understanding of links and relationships between key course ideas. Concept mapping was used for three summative assessment pieces,…
Physiology is often considered a challenging course for students. It is up to teachers to structure courses and create learning opportunities that will increase the chance of student success. In an undergraduate exercise physiology course, concept maps are assigned to help students actively process and organize information into manageable and…
Sarantopoulos, Helen D.
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to identify, according to the Productivity Environment Preference Survey (PEPS) instrument, which learning-style domains (environmental, emotional, sociological, and physiological) were favored among Latino/Hispanic community college students enrolled in introductory biology classes in a large, urban community college. An additional purpose of this study was to determine whether statistically significant differences existed between the learning-style preferences and the demographic variables of age, gender, number of prior science courses, second language learner status, and earlier exposure to scientific information. Methodology. The study design was descriptive and ex post facto. The sample consisted of a total of 332 Latino/Hispanic students enrolled in General Biology 3. Major findings. The study revealed that Latino/Hispanic students enrolled in introductory biology at a large urban community college scored higher for the learning preference element of structure. Students twenty-five years and older scored higher for the learning preference elements of light, design, persistence, responsibility, and morning time (p learning-style preferences were found between second English language learners and those who learned English as their primary language (p tactile (p learning-style model and instruments and on recent learning-style research articles on ethnically diverse groups of adult learners; and (2) Instructors should plan their instruction to incorporate the learning-style preferences of their students.
Mead, C.; Horodyskyj, L.; Buxner, S.; Semken, S. C.; Anbar, A. D.
In this study, we explore how data provided by an online learning environment can provide fine-grained behavioral context for the performance gender gap commonly observed in introductory college science courses. Previous studies reported that women earn lower grades than men in such courses, often ascribed to reduced engagement and resilience driven by sociocultural causes, such as stereotype threat. This may be exacerbated in courses graded primarily based on high-stakes exams. Here, we use student data (n = 1121) from Habitable Worlds, an online laboratory science course, to identify behavioral differences between men and women. In Habitable Worlds, students earn points from 30 "trainings," which are scored on completion, and 30 "applications," which are scored on correctness. The lack of high-stakes cumulative exams represents a valuable contrast with typical science courses in which gender gaps have been reported. Our data indicate that a gender gap exists even for these low-stakes assessments. Results of a generalized linear model show that course success among women is much more strongly predicted by training scores than by application scores, while those factors have roughly equal predictive value among men. Predicted success among women is also modulated by the total number of attempts made on questions throughout the course, where more attempts implies lower success (holding other factors constant). This relationship is non-significant for men. Our interpretation of these model results is that obstacles such as stereotype threat represent a tax for women on effort and engagement, such that equivalent effort yields lesser success than for men. Thus, the women who do succeed differ sharply from lower performing women on indicators of effort. Future work should build on this result both as an indicator of conditions under which women are more likely to succeed and as a way to more quickly identify students who may struggle.
Tobin, R. G.
Abundant research leaves little question that pedagogical approaches involving active student engagement with the material, and opportunities for student-to-student discussions, lead to much better learning outcomes than traditional instructor-led, expository instructional formats, in physics and in many other fields. In introductory college physics classes, some departments have departed radically from conventional lecture-recitation-laboratory course structures, but many, including my own, retain the basic format of large-group classroom sessions (lectures) supplemented by smaller-group meetings focused on problem solving (recitations) and separate laboratory meetings. Active student engagement in the lectures is encouraged through approaches such as Peer Instruction and Interactive Lecture Demonstrations, and these approaches have been demonstrably successful.
Wright, Christian D; Eddy, Sarah L; Wenderoth, Mary Pat; Abshire, Elizabeth; Blankenbiller, Margaret; Brownell, Sara E
Recent reform efforts in undergraduate biology have recommended transforming course exams to test at more cognitively challenging levels, which may mean including more cognitively challenging and more constructed-response questions on assessments. However, changing the characteristics of exams could result in bias against historically underserved groups. In this study, we examined whether and to what extent the characteristics of instructor-generated tests impact the exam performance of male and female and middle/high- and low-socioeconomic status (SES) students enrolled in introductory biology courses. We collected exam scores for 4810 students from 87 unique exams taken across 3 yr of the introductory biology series at a large research university. We determined the median Bloom's level and the percentage of constructed-response questions for each exam. Despite controlling for prior academic ability in our models, we found that males and middle/high-SES students were disproportionately favored as the Bloom's level of exams increased. Additionally, middle/high-SES students were favored as the proportion of constructed-response questions on exams increased. Given that we controlled for prior academic ability, our findings do not likely reflect differences in academic ability level. We discuss possible explanations for our findings and how they might impact how we assess our students. © 2016 C. D. Wright, S. L. Eddy, et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
In this article, Suchitra Samanta reports on an introductory course in women's and gender studies (IWGS) where she first introduces, centers, and problematizes the concept of gender and sexuality to undergraduate students, and at a depth not offered in other disciplines. This article suggests a need for greater visibility for Asians and Asian…
Block, Robert M.
The use of open-book tests, closed-book tests, and notecards on tests in an introductory statistics course is described in this article. A review of the literature shows that open-book assessments are universally recognized to reduce anxiety. The literature is mixed however on whether deeper learning or better preparation occurs with open-book…
Treacy, Daniel J.; Sankaran, Saumya M.; Gordon-Messer, Susannah; Saly, Danielle; Miller, Rebecca; Isaac, R. Stefan; Kosinski-Collins, Melissa S.
In introductory laboratory courses, many universities are turning from traditional laboratories with predictable outcomes to inquiry-inspired, project-based laboratory curricula. In these labs, students are allowed to design at least some portion of their own experiment and interpret new, undiscovered data. We have redesigned the introductory…
Milner, Rachel; Parrish, Jonathan; Wright, Adrienne; Gnarpe, Judy; Keenan, Louanne
In a large-enrollment, introductory biochemistry course for nonmajors, the authors provide students with formative feedback through practice questions in PDF format. Recently, they investigated possible benefits of providing the practice questions via an online game (Brainspan). Participants were randomly assigned to either the online game group…
Della-Rose, Devin; Carlson, Randall; de La Harpe, Kimberly; Novotny, Steven; Polsgrove, Daniel
Discovery of planets outside our solar system, known as extra-solar planets or exoplanets for short, has been at the forefront of astronomical research for over 25 years. Reports of new discoveries have almost become routine; however, the excitement surrounding them has not. Amazingly, as groundbreaking as exoplanet science is, the basic physics is quite accessible to first-year physics students, as discussed in previous TPT articles. To further illustrate this point, we developed an iOS application that generates synthetic exoplanet data to provide students and teachers with interactive learning activities. Using introductory physics concepts, we demonstrate how to estimate exoplanet mass, radius, and density from the app output. These calculations form the basis for a diverse range of classroom activities. We conclude with a summary of exoplanet science resources for teachers.
Calonge, David Santandreu; Grando, Danilla
Objective: To develop a totally online reality-based course that engages students and enables the development of enhanced teamwork and report-writing skills. Setting: Outbreaks of infectious diseases impacts upon commerce, trade and tourism as well as placing strains on healthcare systems. A general course introducing university students to…
Kalkani, Efrossini C.; Boussiakou, Iris K.; Boussiakou, Leda G.
The primary objective of this paper is to apply the educational theories of Kolb's experiential learning and Bloom's educational taxonomy in restructuring the course "Renewable energy engineering". The steps of the research procedure investigate the application of learning theories to the restructuring of the course and the introduction of…
In the field of management, a practice--theory gap has developed and consequently, management education has been criticized for being irrelevant to the needs of stakeholders. This article argues that introduction to management courses in higher education perpetuate this gap by not teaching what managers do. These courses fail to communicate well…
Rushton, Gregory T.; Criswell, Brett A.; McAllister, Nicole D.; Polizzi, Samuel J.; Moore, Lamesha A.; Pierre, Michelle S.
Reaction kinetics is an axiomatic topic in chemistry that is often addressed as early as the high school course and serves as the foundation for more sophisticated conversations in college-level organic, physical, and biological chemistry courses. Despite the fundamental nature of reaction kinetics, students can struggle with transforming their…
Zwolak, Justyna P.; Dou, Remy; Williams, Eric A.; Brewe, Eric
Increasing student retention (successfully finishing a particular course) and persistence (continuing through a sequence of courses or the major area of study) is currently a major challenge for universities. While students' academic and social integration into an institution seems to be vital for student retention, research into the effect of…
Zimmer, Robert J.; And Others
A survey of 122 college teachers of marketing courses investigated the extent and methods of their inclusion of international marketing into the course curriculum. Findings suggest that, among those teaching international marketing, how they acquired their international knowledge had a significant effect on how they taught international marketing.…
Rao, Madhav; Lusth, John C.; Burkett, Susan L.
Integrated circuit (IC) fabrication principles is an elective course in a senior undergraduate and early graduate student's curriculum. Over the years, the semiconductor industry relies heavily on students with developed expertise in the area of fabrication techniques, learned in an IC fabrication theory and laboratory course. The theory course…
Quesada, Antonio R.
Describes how the introduction of the TI-92 transformed a traditional first semester linear algebra course into a matrix-oriented course that emphasized conceptual understanding, relevant applications, and numerical issues. Indicates an increase in students' overall performance as they found the calculator very useful, believed it helped them…
Mulderink, Earl F., III
Provides some useful guidelines, activities, and a few warnings concerning using documentary movies in a U. S. history course. Although documentaries can pique student interest, they need to be previewed first and presented in historical context with supporting materials. Includes an overview of a course content and accompanying films. (MJP)
Saltz, Jeffrey; Heckman, Robert
This paper reports on a case study of a project-focused introduction to big data science course. The pedagogy of the course leveraged boundary theory, where students were positioned to be at the boundary between a client's desire to understand their data and the academic class. The results of the case study demonstrate that using live clients…
Fraser, Catherine C.
Students in a third-year introduction to German literature course chatted over networked computers, using "FirstClass" software. A brief description of the course design is provided with detailed information on how the three chat sessions were organized. (Author/VWL)
Full Text Available There has been a remarkable growth in distance learning courses in higher education. Despite indications that distance learning courses are more vulnerable to cheating behavior than traditional courses, there has been little research studying whether online exams facilitate a relatively greater level of cheating. This article examines this issue by developing an approach using a latent variable to measure student cheating. This latent variable is linked to both known student mastery related variables and variables unrelated to student mastery. Grade scores from a proctored final exam and an unproctored final exam are used to test for increased cheating behavior in the unproctored exam
The standard deviation is related to the mean by virtue of the coefficient of variation. Teachers of statistics courses can make use of that fact to make the standard deviation more comprehensible for statistics students.
Jillings, Lewis G.; Murdoch, Brian O.
This paper discusses the problems and advantages of a course in Medieval Germany, including history, culture and literature along with language. Attention is given to issues and texts to be studied. (CHK)
Kendra M. Hill
Full Text Available Current research supports the role of metacognitive strategies to enhance reading comprehension. This study measured the effectiveness of online versus face-to-face metacognitive and active reading skills lessons introduced by Biology faculty to college students in a non-majors introductory biology course. These lessons were delivered in two lectures either online (Group 1: N = 154 or face-to-face (Group 2: N = 152. Previously validated pre- and post-surveys were used to collect and compare data by paired and independent t-test analysis (α = 0.05. Pre- and post-survey data showed a statistically significant improvement in both groups in metacognitive awareness (p = 0.001, p = 0.003, respectively and reading comprehension (p < 0.001 for both groups. When comparing the delivery mode of these lessons, no difference was detected between the online and face-to-face instruction for metacognitive awareness (pre- p = 0.619, post- p = 0.885. For reading comprehension, no difference in gains was demonstrated between online and face-to-face (p = 0.381, however, differences in pre- and post- test scores was measured (pre- p = 0.005, post- p = 0.038. This study suggests that biology instructors can easily introduce effective metacognitive awareness and active reading lessons into their course, either through online or face-to-face instruction.
E. M. Cutrim
Full Text Available Responding to the call for reform in science education, changes were made in an introductory meteorology and climate course offered at a large public university. These changes were a part of a larger project aimed at deepening and extending a program of science content courses that model effective teaching strategies for prospective middle school science teachers. Therefore, revisions were made to address misconceptions about meteorological phenomena, foster deeper understanding of key concepts, encourage engagement with the text, and promote inquiry-based learning. Techniques introduced include: use of a flash cards, student reflection questionnaires, writing assignments, and interactive discussions on weather and forecast data using computer technology such as Integrated Data Viewer (IDV. The revision process is described in a case study format. Preliminary results (self-reflection by the instructor, surveys of student opinion, and measurements of student achievement, suggest student learning has been positively influenced. This study is supported by three grants: NSF grant No. 0202923, the Unidata Equipment Award, and the Lucia Harrison Endowment Fund.
Follette, K.; McCarthy, D.
Current trends in the teaching of high school and college science avoid numerical engagement because nearly all students lack basic arithmetic skills and experience anxiety when encountering numbers. Nevertheless, such skills are essential to science and vital to becoming savvy consumers, citizens capable of recognizing pseudoscience, and discerning interpreters of statistics in ever-present polls, studies, and surveys in which our society is awash. Can a general-education collegiate course motivate students to value numeracy and to improve their quantitative skills in what may well be their final opportunity in formal education? We present a tool to assess whether skills in numeracy/quantitative literacy can be fostered and improved in college students through the vehicle of non-major introductory courses in astronomy. Initial classroom applications define the magnitude of this problem and indicate that significant improvements are possible. Based on these initial results we offer this tool online and hope to collaborate with other educators, both formal and informal, to develop effective mechanisms for encouraging all students to value and improve their skills in basic numeracy.
Mehta, Nirav; Cheng, Kelvin
We have developed an interactive workshop-style course for our introductory calculus-based physics sequence at Trinity University. Lecture is limited to approximately 15 min. at the beginning of class, and the remainder of the 50-min. class is devoted to inquiry-based activities and problem solving. So far, lab is done separately and we have not incorporated the lab component into the workshop model. We use the Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment (BEMA) to compare learning gains between the workshop and traditional lecture-based course for the Spring 2012 semester. Both the workshop and lecture courses shared the same inquiry-based lab component that involved pre-labs, prediction-observation and post-lab activities. Our BEMA results indicate statistically significant improvement in overall learning gains compared to the traditional course. We compare our workshop BEMA scores both to traditional lecture scores here at Trinity and to those from other institutions.
The use of religious tracts in teaching a course in persuasive communication is described in this paper. Excerpts from a number of tracts are presented to show how religious tracts can be used in teaching about (1) persuasive messages that appeal to fear, (2) the question of ethics in persuasion, (3) appeals to concerns about physiological…
Bohn, Dawn M.; Schmidt, Shelly J.
Experiential learning activities are often viewed as impractical, and potentially unfeasible, instructional tools to employ in a large enrollment course. Research has shown, though, that the metacognitive skills that students utilize while participating in experiential learning activities enable them to assess their true level of understanding and…
Urban, Michael J.
Using an ALTA II reflectance spectrometer, the USGS digital spectral library, graphs of planetary spectra, and a few mineral hand samples, one can teach how light can be used to study planets and moons. The author created the hands-on, inquiry-based activity for an undergraduate planetary science course consisting of freshman to senior level…
Liberatore, Matthew W.; Morrish, Rachel M.; Vestal, Charles R.
The utility of Just-In-Time-Teaching (JITT) is compared across course topics and groups of students not receiving JITT exercises in class. JITT feedback incorporated various active learning exercises based on students' performance on online homework problems from Sapling Learning. With over 200 students in two sections participating in the…
Yu, Darwin D.
Background: Financial accounting is a skills course which to a large extent can be best learned through deliberate practice. Teachers implement this by continuously assigning homeworks, encouraging good study habits, asking students to budget time for studying, and generally exhorting students to "work hard". Aims: This paper examines the impact…
Mauco, María Virginia; Ferrante, Enzo; Felice, Laura
Basic courses on logic are common in most computer science curricula. Students often have difficulties in handling formalisms and getting familiar with them. Educational software helps to motivate and improve the teaching-learning processes. Therefore, incorporating these kinds of tools becomes important, because they contribute to gaining…
Barak, Miri; Harward, Judson; Kocur, George; Lerman, Steven
Within the framework of MIT's course 1.00: Introduction to Computers and Engineering Problem Solving, this paper describes an innovative project entitled: Studio 1.00 that integrates lectures with in-class demonstrations, active learning sessions, and on-task feedback, through the use of wireless laptop computers. This paper also describes a related evaluation study that investigated the effectiveness of different instructional strategies, comparing traditional teaching with two models of the studio format. Students' learning outcomes, specifically, their final grades and conceptual understanding of computational methods and programming, were examined. Findings indicated that Studio-1.00, in both its extensive- and partial-active learning modes, enhanced students' learning outcomes in Java programming. Comparing to the traditional courses, more students in the studio courses received "A" as their final grade and less failed. Moreover, students who regularly attended the active learning sessions were able to conceptualize programming principles better than their peers. We have also found two weaknesses in the teaching format of Studio-1.00 that can guide future versions of the course.
Lubbers, Charles A.
Examines the value of two alternative tools as supplements for the traditional introduction to public relations course. Considers the usage of a study manual, usage of televised review sessions, year in school and major status. Indicates that all four variables are significantly correlated with class performance, but that the study manual explains…
Balschweid, Mark; Knobloch, Neil A.; Hains, Bryan J.
Insignificant numbers of college students declaring STEM majors creates concern for the future of the U.S. economy within the global marketplace. This study highlights the educational development and teaching strategies employed by STEM faculty in teaching first-year students in contextualized life science courses, such as animal, plant, and food…
Berenson, Mark L.; Koppel, Nicole B.; Lord, Richard A.; Chapdelaine, Laura L.
Typically, the core-required undergraduate business statistics course covers a broad spectrum of topics with applications pertaining to all functional areas of business. The recently updated American Statistical Association's GAISE (Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education) College Report once again stresses the…
As an introduction to the use of the DIALOG online retrieval service, this guide presents material that was developed during a fellowship at Carlos III University, School of Library Science and Documentation, Madrid (Spain) and that is based on a course on the same subject taught in English at Texas Women's University. Although the use of DIALOG…
Moore, Robert L.
What is the best way to allocate students to small teams in those economics courses that rely on small group work to enhance individual student learning? While experts in collaborative learning provide many suggestions, little empirical work has been done. This article begins to fill the gap. It examines whether a variety of characteristics of the…
Bowlick, Forrest J.; Kolden, Crystal A.
This case study surveyed students in geography courses at the University of Idaho, investigating perceptions of geography's role in their daily lives, relevance to careers or academics, and parts of their geographic skill. Primarily, white, younger than 20, gender-balanced students in Introduction to Physical Geography and Human Geography courses…
Johnson, Donald M.; Ferguson, James A.; Lester, Melissa L.
Of 175 freshmen agriculture students, 74% had prior computer courses, 62% owned computers. The number of computer topics studied predicted both computer self-efficacy and computer knowledge. A substantial positive correlation was found between self-efficacy and computer knowledge. (SK)
Scratch, a visual programming language, was used in many studies in computer science education. Most of them reported positive results by integrating Scratch into K-12 computer courses. However, the object-oriented concept, one of the important computational thinking skills, is not represented well in Scratch. Alice, another visual programming…
d'Alessio, M. A.; Schwartz, J. J.
With earth science relevant to so many societal challenges, we created an introductory geology course as a forum for students to explore the interplay between geoscience and society. With new media and digital tools enabling such rich collaboration, we designed the course as a fully online lecture and laboratory experience that meets the natural science general education requirements of our university. We hook students by using popular Hollywood blockbusters paired with documentary films that address related science content. Student ask questions using an online question ranking tool (Google Moderator) to guide the direction of further content delivery using the slide sharing/collaboration tool 'VoiceThread.' It allows instructors to post slides, add video narration, and invite students to comment or answer specific questions using video, voice, or text. Students report that VoiceThread makes an asynchronous class feel like a face-to-face experience. Student also collect data using online tools and pool their data in Google Spreadsheets. They discuss their collective findings in VoiceThread. With these tools in place, each content unit culminates with a challenge scenario. Students work in teams to come to a consensus about a real-world decision that requires them to apply their geologic knowledge. Examples include whether or not to evacuate a town in light of volcanic activity, which house to purchase in an earthquake prone area, which industry was polluting local groundwater, and whether or not to sell mineral rights for hydraulic fracturing. While many of these activities are widely utilized, our approach using them in an integrated online lecture/lab environment is unique. A survey of student attitudes towards the course revealed that students felt a stronger personal connection to the course instructor and one another than typical face-to-face GE classes, including those from our own department. Students' self-report of how much they learned was strongly
Abdelhafiz, Ahmed Samir; Fouda, Merhan Ahmed; El-Jaafary, Shaimaa Ibrahim; Farghly, Maysa Ibrahim; Salem, Mazen; Tammam, Ahmed; Gabr, Hala
Biobanking is a relatively new concept in the Arab region. Targeting different stakeholders to introduce the concept of biobanking and develop an acceptance of it among them is important for the growth of biobanking in the region. Undergraduate students of life sciences represent an important segment of stakeholders, since they constitute potential future biobank customers. Limited funding, lack of awareness of the existence of the term "biobanking" itself among these students, and questions regarding best marketing strategies presented challenges to planning for the most effective message delivery to this target group. A specific course was designed for undergraduate students of life sciences, which was conducted at the Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt. The course was conducted twice in 2016 and included lectures covering biobanking, quality, ethics, information technology, and translational research. Facebook and word-of-mouth were used for marketing and advertising. A total number of 125 participants attended both courses cumulatively. Facebook appeared to have been an effective marketing outlet, especially when paid advertisements were used. Evaluation of knowledge, measured using a pretest and posttest, demonstrated some improvement in knowledge of participants. Evaluation forms filled after the course showed positive attitude toward content and message delivery by a majority of participants. Facebook was also used as an evaluation method through analysis of engagement with posts created after course completion. Biobanking education can be carried out effectively with limited resources. Understanding the needs of the target group and using appropriate methods of communication are essential prerequisites to a well-tailored curriculum and effective message delivery. Using Facebook appears to be an effective and affordable method of communication and advertising. Targeting undergraduate students of life sciences interested in research is a good
Olimpo, Jeffrey T.; Fisher, Ginger R.; DeChenne-Peters, Sue Ellen
Within the past decade, course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have emerged as a viable mechanism to enhance novices’ development of scientific reasoning and process skills in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. Recent evidence within the bioeducation literature suggests that student engagement in such experiences not only increases their appreciation for and interest in scientific research but also enhances their ability to “think like a scientist.” Despite these critical outcomes, few studies have objectively explored CURE versus non-CURE students’ development of content knowledge, attitudes, and motivation in the discipline, particularly among nonvolunteer samples. To address these concerns, we adopted a mixed-methods approach to evaluate the aforementioned outcomes following implementation of a novel CURE in an introductory cell/molecular biology course. Results indicate that CURE participants exhibited more expert-like outcomes on these constructs relative to their non-CURE counterparts, including in those areas related to self-efficacy, self-determination, and problem-solving strategies. Furthermore, analysis of end-of-term survey data suggests that select features of the CURE, such as increased student autonomy and collaboration, mediate student learning and enjoyment. Collectively, this research provides novel insights into the benefits achieved as a result of CURE participation and can be used to guide future development and evaluation of authentic research opportunities. PMID:27909022
Horodyskyj, L.; Mead, C.; Anbar, A. D.
Effective education demands an understanding of students' prior knowledge, prior experiences, and predispositions. Knowledge surveys are one way to match instruction to students' needs, but measure only one way in which students' needs vary. Computer learning systems can give instructors detailed, real-time information about cognitive biases or effort in key lessons. We show how the design of the online course Habitable Worlds facilitates the collection and use of these kinds of student data. Early effort in a course is thought to predict success, but our results show that more effort is not always a positive indicator. Unit 1, the introduction, is scored on completion, but requires a correct answer to each question to progress. An ANOVA found that a student who earns anything less than full points for Unit 1 will have a course grade 1.3 letter grades lower than a student who earns full points (F(1, 1272) = 136.4, p < .001). A second analysis included only students who earned a C or better and full Unit 1 points, to deemphasize very low performers. On 180 separate "screens" in Unit 1, the median screen attempts was 249. An ANOVA shows that students taking more attempts than the median earn lower course grades by 0.25 letter grades (F(1, 919) = 35.8, p < .001). These results show the value in tracking completion (too little effort) as well as difficulty or challenge (unexpectedly high effort). We are working to create interventions to aid students on both ends of this spectrum in future offerings. In addition to measures of objective course performance, we can also examine more subtle student characteristics. In Unit 1, students are asked to describe an image of a cloud that resembles an angel. Some provide an observation (cloud), while others make an interpretation (angel). Even this seemingly trivial question shows significant predictive value in two subsequent exercises that ask students to classify statements as observations or interpretations (F(1, 292) = 30
Sanchez-Miro, J. J.
The present work constitutes a handbook for a course of initiation in the MATHEMATICA (vs. 4.0) oriented toward tecniciens and investigators who wish to familiarize with the most fundamentals aspects of the symbolic calculus (and numerical approximations) that involves the processor MATHEMATICA (vs. 4.0). We have selectioned, in our criterion, some of the subjects of particular interest in the applied mathematica to technical problems which are formulated to the professionals such as: differential equations resolution, developments in series of functions, orthogonal or not, interpolation, matrix management, statistic, fit linear and non linear, and others. (Author)
Piquero, Gemma; Vargas-Balbuena, Javier
We provide a simple theoretical study of beams non-uniformly polarized across their transverse sections which can be introduced in undergraduate optics courses. In order to generate such beams we propose to use a slightly convergent (or divergent) linearly and uniformly polarized beam impinging on an anisotropic uniaxial material with the beam propagation direction along the optic axis. Analytical expressions for the Jones vector, Stokes parameters, ellipticity and azimuth at each point of the transverse section, perpendicular to the propagation direction, are obtained at the output of this system. By means of these parameters a detailed description of the state of polarization across the transverse profile is given
Arribas, Enrique; Escobar, Isabel; Suarez, Carmen P; Najera, Alberto; Beléndez, Augusto
In this work, we propose an inexpensive laboratory practice for an introductory physics course laboratory for any grade of science and engineering study. This practice was very well received by our students, where a smartphone (iOS, Android, or Windows) is used together with mini magnets (similar to those used on refrigerator doors), a 20 cm long school rule, a paper, and a free application (app) that needs to be downloaded and installed that measures magnetic fields using the smartphone’s magnetic field sensor or magnetometer. The apps we have used are: Magnetometer (iOS), Magnetometer Metal Detector, and Physics Toolbox Magnetometer (Android). Nothing else is needed. Cost of this practice: free. The main purpose of the practice is that students determine the dependence of the component x of the magnetic field produced by different magnets (including ring magnets and sphere magnets). We obtained that the dependency of the magnetic field with the distance is of the form x –3 , in total agreement with the theoretical analysis. The secondary objective is to apply the technique of least squares fit to obtain this exponent and the magnetic moment of the magnets, with the corresponding absolute error. (paper)
Arribas, Enrique; Escobar, Isabel; Suarez, Carmen P.; Najera, Alberto; Beléndez, Augusto
In this work, we propose an inexpensive laboratory practice for an introductory physics course laboratory for any grade of science and engineering study. This practice was very well received by our students, where a smartphone (iOS, Android, or Windows) is used together with mini magnets (similar to those used on refrigerator doors), a 20 cm long school rule, a paper, and a free application (app) that needs to be downloaded and installed that measures magnetic fields using the smartphone’s magnetic field sensor or magnetometer. The apps we have used are: Magnetometer (iOS), Magnetometer Metal Detector, and Physics Toolbox Magnetometer (Android). Nothing else is needed. Cost of this practice: free. The main purpose of the practice is that students determine the dependence of the component x of the magnetic field produced by different magnets (including ring magnets and sphere magnets). We obtained that the dependency of the magnetic field with the distance is of the form x-3, in total agreement with the theoretical analysis. The secondary objective is to apply the technique of least squares fit to obtain this exponent and the magnetic moment of the magnets, with the corresponding absolute error.
Kalman, C.S.; Milner-Bolotin, M.; Antimitova, T.
We report on an experiment comparing examinations of concepts using slightly modified peer instruction (MPI) interventions with a conceptual conflict strategy based on collaborative groups (CG). Four interventions were utilized in two sections of an introductory physics course for science students. Both instructors and strategies were alternated in the two classes so that instructor dependence could be factored out and so that each class could serve as both an experimental and a control group. The gain on the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) used as a pre- and post-test is essentially the same in both classes. The instructors were experienced in use of MPI, but this was the first time that these instructors had used a collaborative group activity in their classes and only used it for the two interventions in each class described in this paper. CG appears to be more effective as a teaching method than PI. It also should be noted that the effectiveness of both teaching methods seems to be instructor independent as long as the instructors followed the same protocol. (author)
In a calculus-based introductory physics course, students were assigned to write the statements of word problems (along with the accompanying diagrams if any), analyze these, identify important concepts/equations and try to solve these end-of- chapter homework problems. They were required to bring to class their written assignment until the chapter was completed in lecture. These were quickly checked at the beginning of the class. In addition, re-doing selected solved examples in the textbook were assigned as homework. Where possible, students were asked to look for similarities between the solved-examples and the end-of-the-chapter problems, or occasionally these were brought to the students' attention. It was observed that many students were able to solve several of the solved-examples on the test even though the instructor had not solved these in class. This was seen as an improvement over the previous years. It made the students more responsible for their learning. Another benefit was that it alleviated the problems previously created by many students not bringing the textbooks to class. It allowed more time for problem solving/discussions in class.
Kalman, C.S., E-mail: Calvin.Kalman@concordia.ca [Concordia Univ., Dept. of Physics, Montreal, QC (Canada); Milner-Bolotin, M. [Univ. of British Columbia, Dept. of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Vancouver, BC (Canada); Antimitova, T. [Ryerson Univ., Dept. of Physics, Toronto, ON (Canada)
We report on an experiment comparing examinations of concepts using slightly modified peer instruction (MPI) interventions with a conceptual conflict strategy based on collaborative groups (CG). Four interventions were utilized in two sections of an introductory physics course for science students. Both instructors and strategies were alternated in the two classes so that instructor dependence could be factored out and so that each class could serve as both an experimental and a control group. The gain on the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) used as a pre- and post-test is essentially the same in both classes. The instructors were experienced in use of MPI, but this was the first time that these instructors had used a collaborative group activity in their classes and only used it for the two interventions in each class described in this paper. CG appears to be more effective as a teaching method than PI. It also should be noted that the effectiveness of both teaching methods seems to be instructor independent as long as the instructors followed the same protocol. (author)
Swan, Amy K.
at the four-year institution. In the classroom, similarities and differences were related to projects, learning outcomes, language and time, while outside of the classroom they were primarily linked to time and peer support. This study's findings suggest a need for expanded access to experiential learning opportunities and ongoing attention to the role of community colleges in engineering education. Study findings also point toward ways that engineering educators might attend to the intrateam processes identified, and better accommodate the needs of all students in project-based introductory courses.
Gutmann, Brianne; Gladding, Gary; Lundsgaard, Morten; Stelzer, Timothy
Encouraged by positive clinical results at the University of Illinois, mastery-style homework was integrated into a large semester-long preparatory physics course via an online homework system that used narrated animated video solutions as correctives. This paper discusses the impact and evolution of the homework in its first two years. The first iteration revealed that students were frustrated and did not engage with the system in an effective way. Intending to reduce that frustration and quell negative behavior, the mastery requirement was relaxed, transfer between versions was reduced, and the addition of a direct discussion with students about the homework were implemented in its second year. The results showed that details of implementation can substantially affect students' behavior; large and statistically significant effects were observed as a reduction in frustration (with self-identified "frustrated" students dropping from 60% in 2014 to 30% in 2015) and improvement in performance (average student mastery rate of 59% to 69%).
Williams, John R; Sprumont, Dominique; Hirtle, Marie; Adebamowo, Clement; Braunschweiger, Paul; Bull, Susan; Burri, Christian; Czarkowski, Marek; Fan, Chien Te; Franck, Caroline; Gefenas, Eugenjius; Geissbuhler, Antoine; Klingmann, Ingrid; Kouyaté, Bocar; Kraehenbhul, Jean-Pierre; Kruger, Mariana; Moodley, Keymanthri; Ntoumi, Francine; Nyirenda, Thomas; Pym, Alexander; Silverman, Henry; Tenorio, Sara
This paper reports the results of a workshop held in January 2013 to begin the process of establishing standards for e-learning programmes in the ethics of research involving human participants that could serve as the basis of their evaluation by individuals and groups who want to use, recommend or accredit such programmes. The standards that were drafted at the workshop cover the following topics: designer/provider qualifications, learning goals, learning objectives, content, methods, assessment of participants and assessment of the course. The authors invite comments on the draft standards and eventual endorsement of a final version by all stakeholders. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
A.K. Miskalo; B.B. Torres
A common problem educators from different areas face is to fit the increasing amount of information with the maintenance and/or, not seldom, a decrease in the class load of their courses. This actual situation necessarily forces the educator to severely select the topics to be worked out. In the cur rent scenario of most teaching institutions, this decision is taken by the teacher. In order to do this, a list of the topics considered to be essential for an appropriate bioch...
Jose H. Guardiola
Full Text Available This paper compares the academic performance of students in three similar elementary statistics courses taught by the same instructor, but with the lab component differing among the three. One course is traditionally taught without a lab component; the second with a lab component using scenarios and an extensive use of technology, but without explicit coordination between lab and lecture; and the third using a lab component with an extensive use of technology that carefully coordinates the lab with the lecture. Extensive use of technology means, in this context, using Minitab software in the lab section, doing homework and quizzes using MyMathlab ©, and emphasizing interpretation of computer output during lectures. Initially, an online instrument based on Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory, is given to students to try to identify students’ learning styles and intelligence types as covariates. An analysis of covariance is performed in order to compare differences in achievement. In this study there is no attempt to measure difference in student performance across the different treatments. The purpose of this study is to find indications of associations among variables that support the claim that statistics labs could be associated with superior academic achievement in one of these three instructional environments. Also, this study tries to identify individual student characteristics that could be associated with superior academic performance. This study did not find evidence of any individual student characteristics that could be associated with superior achievement. The response variable was computed as percentage of correct answers for the three exams during the semester added together. The results of this study indicate a significant difference across these three different instructional methods, showing significantly higher mean scores for the response variable on students taking the lab component that was carefully coordinated with
Full Text Available Web-based learning (WBL has been widely implemented in various educational settings as a learning medium but there is a doubt about its superiority over text or lecture-based, teacher centered traditional education because of inconclusive findings in the related research. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of WBL on the teacher candidates’ content acquisition in a pedagogical course and on their attitudes toward this we-based course. Post-test only experimental study was conducted in a vocational teacher education program in Turkey. In the experimental group, WBL was conducted for three weeks for three topics: cognitive, moral and personality development and in the control group, lecture-based traditional teaching methods were applied. An achievement test was administered to both groups at the end of the study. According to the results, the groups did not show difference. In addition, the results of the attitude scale revealed that the students in the experimental group, on the average, had positive perceptions toward the web environment, web-based course, course instructor, course assessment, and success in the course. This result pointed out that though the impact of WBL on the acquisition of course topics did not differ between the groups, its positive impact on the students’ impression about teaching-learning process of the course, instructor and course assessment should not be ignored. Within the scope of this study, the results implied that WBL in teacher education might be applied in order to provide better learning environment rather than better knowledge gain.
Brownell, Sara E; Kloser, Matthew J; Fukami, Tadashi; Shavelson, Richard J
The shift from cookbook to authentic research-based lab courses in undergraduate biology necessitates the need for evaluation and assessment of these novel courses. Although the biology education community has made progress in this area, it is important that we interpret the effectiveness of these courses with caution and remain mindful of inherent limitations to our study designs that may impact internal and external validity. The specific context of a research study can have a dramatic impact on the conclusions. We present a case study of our own three-year investigation of the impact of a research-based introductory lab course, highlighting how volunteer students, a lack of a comparison group, and small sample sizes can be limitations of a study design that can affect the interpretation of the effectiveness of a course.
Sara E. Brownell
Full Text Available The shift from cookbook to authentic research-based lab courses in undergraduate biology necessitates the need for evaluation and assessment of these novel courses. Although the biology education community has made progress in this area, it is important that we interpret the effectiveness of these courses with caution and remain mindful of inherent limitations to our study designs that may impact internal and external validity. The specific context of a research study can have a dramatic impact on the conclusions. We present a case study of our own three-year investigation of the impact of a research-based introductory lab course, highlighting how volunteer students, a lack of a comparison group, and small sample sizes can be limitations of a study design that can affect the interpretation of the effectiveness of a course.
Dobaria, Archana S.; Coble, Kimberly A.; Alejandra, Le; Berryhill, Katie; McLin, Kevin M.; Cominsky, Lynn R.
As part of a general education undergraduate astronomy course at a minority-serving university in the Midwestern US, students completed an observing project with the Global Telescope Network (GTN), where they participated in realistic practices used by professional astronomers, including proposal writing and peer review. First, students went through the process of applying for telescope time by choosing an astronomical object and writing an observing proposal. Then they performed an NSF-style review of classmates’ proposals, including written peer reviews and a review panel. After obtaining images from GTN telescopes, students presented their project and findings in front of the class.This study investigates students’ experiences and perceived impacts of participation in the project. The data analyzed includes an essay assignment [N = 59] administered over seven semesters and individual interviews [N = 8] collected over two semesters. Students were prompted to address what they liked, disliked, or would change about the project experience. These data were coded iteratively into nine categories. A Kruskal-Wallis (KW) test was used to determine that essay results from different semesters could be combined. We find that students expressed an overall strong positive affect, increased perception of self-efficacy, enjoyment of the experience of peer review, an appreciation for being able to use real scientific tools and to take on the role of astronomers, as well as a small number of dislikes such as real-world constraints on observing.
Full Text Available Background: Physicians have a unique role in teaching future physicians and allied health professionals. Yet, most medical doctors have limited instruction in this critical component of their daily activity. Methods: This study was a prospective cohort study of the effectiveness of a local teaching program at two teaching hospitals for junior faculty. Based on a needs analysis and literature review, the teaching program was developed in an accessible and compact format of six consecutive, one-hour "lunch and learn" sessions, held locally over a six week period. Pre-post questionnaires and focus groups were used to evaluate the program. Results: Participants reported being satisfied with the course as whole, particularly in respect to the format and location. There was an improvement in their knowledge in all content areas covered. The greatest benefits were derived from fostering a community of practice and having the opportunity to role play and simulate teaching skills. An attitudinal change towards teaching was noted. Conclusions: A brief, local faculty development program was effective in enhancing physicians’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes in teaching.
Full Text Available As the number of young people attending college has increased, the diversity of college students� educational backgrounds has also risen. Some students enter introductory courses with math anxiety or gaps in their quantitative training that impede their ability to master or even grasp relevant disciplinary content. Too often professors learn of these anxieties and gaps only during the post mortem of the first midterm. By that time, a good portion of a student�s grade is determined and successful recovery may be impossible. During the 2016-17 academic year, the Department of Economics at Carleton College ran a pilot project using the Quantitative Literacy and Reasoning Assessment (QLRA as a pre-course diagnostic tool. Results show that the QLRA predicts student grades even after controlling for other SAT/ACT math scores and overall GPA. This finding suggests that quantitative reasoning is an important input into success in Principles of Economics (both Macro and Micro. When the QLRA alone is used to predict success in a course (as defined by either a grade of C- or better, or a grade of B- or better, we find that we could nearly always pick out students who were on the way to sub-par performance. On the other hand, the tool has a fairly high false positive rate; almost half of students identified as �at risk� based on QLRA performance went on to earn a successful grade in the course. In total, we argue that the QLRA may be a useful and inexpensive early-warning device for introductory courses in economics; it may be worth exploring a similar use of the instrument in other disciplinary settings where introductory courses require quantitative reasoning.
Olimpo, Jeffrey T; Fisher, Ginger R; DeChenne-Peters, Sue Ellen
Within the past decade, course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have emerged as a viable mechanism to enhance novices' development of scientific reasoning and process skills in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. Recent evidence within the bioeducation literature suggests that student engagement in such experiences not only increases their appreciation for and interest in scientific research but also enhances their ability to "think like a scientist." Despite these critical outcomes, few studies have objectively explored CURE versus non-CURE students' development of content knowledge, attitudes, and motivation in the discipline, particularly among nonvolunteer samples. To address these concerns, we adopted a mixed-methods approach to evaluate the aforementioned outcomes following implementation of a novel CURE in an introductory cell/molecular biology course. Results indicate that CURE participants exhibited more expert-like outcomes on these constructs relative to their non-CURE counterparts, including in those areas related to self-efficacy, self-determination, and problem-solving strategies. Furthermore, analysis of end-of-term survey data suggests that select features of the CURE, such as increased student autonomy and collaboration, mediate student learning and enjoyment. Collectively, this research provides novel insights into the benefits achieved as a result of CURE participation and can be used to guide future development and evaluation of authentic research opportunities. © 2016 J. T. Olimpo et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Rábago, J L; López-Doueil, M; Sancho, R; Hernández-Pinto, P; Neira, N; Capa, E; Larraz, E; Redondo-Figuero, C G; Maestre, J M
An increased number of errors and reduced patient safety have been reported during the incorporation of residents, as this period involves learning new skills. The objectives were to evaluate the learning outcomes of an immersive simulation boot-camp for incoming residents before starting the clinical rotations. Airway assessment, airway control with direct laryngoscopy, and epidural catheterization competencies were evaluated. Twelve first-year anaesthesiology residents participated. A prospective study to evaluate transfer of endotracheal intubation skills learned at the simulation centre to clinical practice (primary outcome) was conducted. A checklist of 28 skills and behaviours was used to assess the first supervised intubation performed during anaesthesia induction in ASA I/II patients. Secondary outcome was self-efficacy to perform epidural catheterization. A satisfaction survey was also performed. Seventy-five percent of residents completed more than 21 out of 28 skills and behaviours to assess and control the airway during their first intubation in patients. Twelve items were performed by all residents and 5 by half of them. More than 83% of participants reported a high level of self-efficacy in placing an epidural catheter. All participants would recommend the course to their colleagues. A focused intensive simulation-based boot-camp addressing key competencies required to begin anaesthesia residency was well received, and led to transfer of airway management skills learned to clinical settings when performing for first time on patients, and to increased self-reported efficacy in performing epidural catheterization. Copyright © 2017 Sociedad Española de Anestesiología, Reanimación y Terapéutica del Dolor. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available The World Wide Web influences education and our lives in many ways. Nowadays, Web-based homework has been becoming widespread practice in physics courses and some other courses as well. Although are some disputes whether this is an encouraging or risky development for student learning, there is limited research assessing the pedagogical effect of changing the medium from written, hand-graded homework to online oriented, computer-graded homework. In this study, web-oriented homework system is developed to assess students’ introductory physics course performance. Later on, these results are compared with paper-based (peer homework performance for mid enrollment physics courses. One of two identical sections of introductory physics course students received paper-based, hand graded group homework while the other received the individual web-based homework. Then two groups’ on conceptual and problem-solving performance measures are compared. No significant differences were found in students’ Force Concept Inventory (FCI test scores; however, average homework performance scores were significant that could be attributed to the homework method used in favor of paper-based peer homework group.
Miller, H. R.; Sell, K. S.; Herbert, B. E.
Shifts in learning goals in introductory earth science courses to greater emphasis on critical thinking and the nature of science has led to the adoption of new pedagogical techniques, including inquiry-based learning (IBL). IBL is thought to support understanding of the nature of science and foster development of scientific reasoning and critical thinking skills by modeling authentic science inquiry. Implementation of new pedagogical techniques do not occur without influence, instruction and learning occurs in a complex learning environment, referring to the social, physical, mental, and pedagogical contexts. This study characterized the impact of an IBL module verses a traditionally structured laboratory exercise in an introductory physical geology class at Texas A&M University. Student activities in this study included manipulation of large-scale data sets, use of multiple representations, and exposure to ill-constrained problems common to the Texas Gulf Coast system. Formative assessment data collected included an initial survey of self efficacy, student demographics, content knowledge and a pre-mental model expression. Summative data collected included a post-test, post-mental model expression, final laboratory report, and a post-survey on student attitudes toward the module. Mental model expressions and final reports were scored according to a validated rubric instrument (Cronbrach alpha: 0.84-0.98). Nine lab sections were randomized into experimental and control groups. Experimental groups were taught using IBL pedagogical techniques, while the control groups were taught using traditional laboratory "workbook" techniques. Preliminary assessment based on rubric scores for pre-tests using Student's t-test (N ˜ 140) indicated that the experimental and control groups were not significantly different (ρ > 0.05), therefore, the learning environment likely impacted student's ability to succeed. A non-supportive learning environment, including student attitudes
Thoresen, Carol Wiggins
This study determined if the training provided physics teaching assistants was sufficient to accomplish the objectives of inquiry-based tutorials for an introductory physics course. Qualitative research methods were used: (1) to determine if the Physics by Inquiry method was modeled; (2) to describe the process from the teaching assistant perspective; (3) to determine TA opinions on training methods; (4) to develop a frame of reference to better understand the role of TA's as instructional support staff. The study determined that the teaching assistants verbalized appropriate instructional actions, but were observed to use a predominantly didactic teaching style. TA's held a variety of perceptions and beliefs about inquiry -based learning and how science is learned. They felt comfortable in the role of tutorial instructor. They were satisfied with the training methods provided and had few suggestions to change or improve training for future tutorial instructors. A concurrent theme of teacher action dependent on teacher beliefs was sustained throughout the study. The TA's actions, as tutorial instructors, reflected their educational beliefs, student background and learning experiences. TA's performance as tutorial instructors depended on what they think and believe about learning science. Practical implications exist for training teaching assistants to be tutorial instructors. Some recommendations may be appropriate for TA's required to use instructional methods that they have not experienced as students. Interview prospective teaching assistants to determine educational experience and beliefs. Employ inexperienced teaching assistants whose perspectives match the proposed instructional role and who might be more receptive to modeling. Incorporate training into staff meetings. Provide time for TA's to experience the instructional model with simulation or role play as students and as instructors, accompanied by conference discussion. Use strategies known to enhance
María Josefa Moré Peláez
Full Text Available La enseñanza del inglés con fines médicos juega un papel decisivo en las universidades médicas cubanas. El inglés con fines médicos se enseña en el 4to y 5to años de la carrera de Medicina y en cursos de posgrado. Se presenta un curso introductorio de 40 horas basado en tareas docentes. El curso está diseñado para estudiantes con un nivel intermedio y puede impartirse en pre y posgrado. Este material cubre necesidades específicas de los cursistas en este nivel en tanto permite profundizar aspectos gramaticales y funcionales de la lengua en los que el estudiante aún presente dificultades. Especial atención merece el tecnolecto de la medicina que sirve para expresar aspectos propios de la práctica médica como son la historia clínica, el examen físico, las investigaciones, el diagnóstico y el plan terapéutico. El curso consta de nueve tareas con variadas actividades encaminadas al desarrollo de habilidades de comprensión, lectura, escritura y expresión oral. El curso tiene anexos con aspectos claves en el lenguaje médico y materiales suplementarios. El libro del maestro ofrece un plan detallado de la unidad y orientaciones metodológicas precisas acompañadas de la clave de respuestas para las tareas del libro del alumno.The teaching of English for Medical Purposes plays a decisive role in Cuban medical universities. English for Medical Purposes is taught during the 4th and 5th academic years of medicine and in postgraduate courses. We present a 40-hour-task-based introductory course. It is intended for intermediate level students and can be used in both undergraduate and graduate courses as well. The course-book material is designed to meet specified needs and expose learners to language use with opportunities to review areas of grammar, functional language, which may still be posing special difficulties. Special attention is devoted to the medical terminology used in history taking, physical examination, investigations
Taeger, Kelli Rae
Dissection has always played a crucial role in biology and anatomy courses at all levels of education. However, in recent years, ethical concerns, as well as improved technology, have brought to the forefront the issue of whether virtual dissection is as effective or whether it is more effective than traditional dissection. Most prior research indicated the two methods produced equal results. However, none of those studies examined retention of information past the initial test of knowledge. Two groups of college students currently enrolled in an introductory level college biology course were given one hour to complete a frog dissection. One group performed a traditional frog dissection, making cuts in an actual preserved frog specimen with scalpels and scissors. The other group performed a virtual frog dissection, using "The Digital Frog 2" software. Immediately after the dissections were completed, each group was given an examination consisting of questions on actual specimens, pictures generated from the computer software, and illustrations that neither group had seen. Two weeks later, unannounced, the groups took the same exam in order to test retention. The traditional dissection group scored significantly higher on two of the three sections, as well as the total score on the initial exam. However, with the exception of specimen questions (on which the traditional group retained significantly more information), there was no significant difference in the retention from exam 1 to exam 2 between the two groups. These results, along with the majority of prior studies, show that the two methods produce, for the most part, the same end results. Therefore, the decision of which method to employ should be based on the goals and preferences of the instructor(s) and the department. If that department's goals include: Being at the forefront of new technology, increasing time management, increasing student: teacher ratio for economic reasons, and/or ethical issues, then
Jeffrey T. Olimpo
Full Text Available Most introductory courses in the biological sciences are inherently content-dense and rich with jargon—jargon that is often confusing and nonsensical to novice students. These characteristics present an additional paradox to instructors, who strive to achieve a balance between simply promoting passive, rote memorization of facts and engaging students in developing true, concrete understanding of the terminology. To address these concerns, we developed and implemented a Biology Taboo Wiktionary that provided students with an interactive opportunity to review and describe concepts they had encountered during their first semester of introductory biology. However, much like the traditional Taboo game, the rules were such that students could not use obvious terms to detail the main term. It was our belief that if the student could synthesize a thoughtful, scientific explanation of the term under these conditions, he or she demonstrated a true understanding of the conceptual context and meaning of the term.
A complete introduction to logic for first-year university students with no background in logic, philosophy or mathematics. In easily understood steps it shows the mechanics of the formal analysis of arguments.
Santiago, Marisol Mercado
Culturally responsive teaching has been argued to be effective in the education of Indigenous youth. This approach emphasizes the legitimacy of a group's cultural heritage, helps to associate abstract academic knowledge with the group's sociocultural context, seeks to incorporate a variety of strategies to engage students who have different learning styles, and strives to integrate multicultural information in the educational contents, among other considerations. In this work, I explore the outcomes of a culturally responsive introductory engineering short course that I developed and taught to Tibetan students at Tibetan Children's Village of Selakui (in Uttarakhand, India). Based on my ethnographic research in Tibetan communities in northern India, I examine two research questions: (a) What are the processes to develop and implement a pre-college culturally responsive introductory engineering course? and (b) How do Tibetan culture and Buddhism influence the engineering design and teamwork of the pre-college Tibetan students who took the course? I designed then taught the course that featured elementary lectures on sustainability, introductory engineering design, energy alternatives, and manufacturing engineering. The course also included a pre-college engineering design project through which Tibetan high school students investigated a problem at the school and designed a possible solution to it. Drawing from postcolonial studies, engineering studies, engineering and social justice, Buddhist studies, and Tibetan studies, I provide an analysis of my findings. Based on my findings, I conclude that my culturally responsive approach of teaching was an effective method to help students feel that their cultural background was respected and included in a pre-college engineering course; however, some students felt resistance toward the teaching approach. In addition, the culturally relevant content that connected with their ways of living in their school, Tibetan
Harrington, Ian A
Undergraduate courses in the neurosciences, including biological psychology, often appeal to students because they offer perspectives on human behavior and experience that are so different from those students arrive with or are exposed to elsewhere on campus. Consider, for example, this passage from Crick's, Astonishing Hypothesis: "You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules." Unfortunately, because this perspective is at such odds with those many students arrive with, the very thing that makes these classes so interesting is also likely to engender resistance. With Crick's hypothesis serving as the theme of my introductory course in biological psychology, we explore the ways in which complex experiences and behaviors can be explained by lower-level, biological phenomena. Historically, and for a host of valid reasons, class assessment tends to focus on whether students understand the course material (e.g., Can you explain the role of Ca(2+) in synaptic transmission?), rather than whether students believe what they have been introduced to (e.g., Do you believe that the mind exists as something separate from the body?). For a number of years, however, I have also been collecting pre- and post-test data from students enrolled in three formats of the class in an effort to measure changes in beliefs. One format was a conventional standalone class, whereas the other two were more intensive and involved parallel coursework in the Philosophy of Mind with a second instructor. The full assessment, identical at both test intervals, was comprised of 56 items and included 16 items from a Theoretical Orientation Scale (TOS; Coan, 1979), several of which addressed whether human behavior was predictable; 14 items that addressed dualism, the veracity of our perceptions, personal responsibility, and other
Harrington, Ian A.
Undergraduate courses in the neurosciences, including biological psychology, often appeal to students because they offer perspectives on human behavior and experience that are so different from those students arrive with or are exposed to elsewhere on campus. Consider, for example, this passage from Crick’s, Astonishing Hypothesis: “You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” Unfortunately, because this perspective is at such odds with those many students arrive with, the very thing that makes these classes so interesting is also likely to engender resistance. With Crick’s hypothesis serving as the theme of my introductory course in biological psychology, we explore the ways in which complex experiences and behaviors can be explained by lower-level, biological phenomena. Historically, and for a host of valid reasons, class assessment tends to focus on whether students understand the course material (e.g., Can you explain the role of Ca2+ in synaptic transmission?), rather than whether students believe what they have been introduced to (e.g., Do you believe that the mind exists as something separate from the body?). For a number of years, however, I have also been collecting pre- and post-test data from students enrolled in three formats of the class in an effort to measure changes in beliefs. One format was a conventional standalone class, whereas the other two were more intensive and involved parallel coursework in the Philosophy of Mind with a second instructor. The full assessment, identical at both test intervals, was comprised of 56 items and included 16 items from a Theoretical Orientation Scale (TOS; Coan, 1979), several of which addressed whether human behavior was predictable; 14 items that addressed dualism, the veracity of our perceptions, personal responsibility, and other
Vondruska, Judy A.
Over the past decade, peer instruction and the introduction of student response systems has provided a means of improving student engagement and achievement in large-lecture settings. While the nature of the student discourse occurring during peer instruction is less understood, existing studies have shown student ideas about the subject, extraneous cues, and confidence level appear to matter in the student-student discourse. Using a mixed methods research design, this study examined the influence of previous subject experience on peer instruction in an introductory, one-semester Survey of Physics course. Quantitative results indicated students in discussion pairs where both had previous subject experience were more likely to answer clicker question correctly both before and after peer discussion compared to student groups where neither partner had previous subject experience. Students in mixed discussion pairs were not statistically different in correct response rates from the other pairings. There was no statistically significant difference between the experience pairs on unit exam scores or the Peer Instruction Partner Survey. Although there was a statistically significant difference between the pre-MPEX and post-MPEX scores, there was no difference between the members of the various subject experience peer discussion pairs. The qualitative study, conducted after the quantitative study, helped to inform the quantitative results by exploring the nature of the peer interactions through survey questions and a series of focus groups discussions. While the majority of participants described a benefit to the use of clickers in the lecture, their experience with their discussion partners varied. Students with previous subject experience tended to describe peer instruction more positively than students who did not have previous subject experience, regardless of the experience level of their partner. They were also more likely to report favorable levels of comfort with
This CD is multimedia presentation of programme safety upgrading of Bohunice V1 NPP. This chapter consist of introductory commentary and 4 introductory speeches (video records): (1) Introductory speech of Vincent Pillar, Board chairman and director general of Slovak electric, Plc. (SE); (2) Introductory speech of Stefan Schmidt, director of SE - Bohunice Nuclear power plants; (3) Introductory speech of Jan Korec, Board chairman and director general of VUJE Trnava, Inc. - Engineering, Design and Research Organisation, Trnava; Introductory speech of Dietrich Kuschel, Senior vice-president of FRAMATOME ANP Project and Engineering
Geologic field trips are among the most beneficial learning experiences for students as they engage the topic of geology, but they are also difficult environments to maximize learning. This action research study explored one facet of the problems associated with teaching geology in the field by attempting to improve the transition of undergraduate students from a traditional laboratory setting to an authentic field environment. Utilizing an artificial outcrop, called the GeoScene, during an introductory college-level non-majors geology course, the transition was studied. The GeoScene was utilized in this study as an intermediary between laboratory and authentic field based experiences, allowing students to apply traditional laboratory learning in an outdoor environment. The GeoScene represented a faux field environment; outside, more complex and tangible than a laboratory, but also simplified geologically and located safely within the confines of an educational setting. This exploratory study employed a mixed-methods action research design. The action research design allowed for systematic inquiry by the teacher/researcher into how the students learned. The mixed-methods approach garnered several types of qualitative and quantitative data to explore phenomena and support conclusions. Several types of data were collected and analyzed, including: visual recordings of the intervention, interviews, analytic memos, student reflections, field practical exams, and a pre/post knowledge and skills survey, to determine whether the intervention affected student comprehension and interpretation of geologic phenomena in an authentic field environment, and if so, how. Students enrolled in two different sections of the same laboratory course, sharing a common lecture, participated in laboratory exercises implementing experiential learning and constructivist pedagogies that focused on learning the basic geological skills necessary for work in a field environment. These laboratory
Humphreys, R. R.; Hall, C.; Colgan, M. W.; Rhodes, E.
Although inquiry-based/problem-based methods have been successfully incorporated in undergraduate lecture classes, a survey of commonly used laboratory manuals indicates that few non-major geoscience laboratory classes use these strategies. The Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences faculty members have developed a successful introductory Environmental Geology Laboratory course for undergraduate non-majors that challenges traditional teaching methodology as illustrated in most laboratory manuals. The Environmental Geology lab activities employ active learning methods to engage and challenge students. Crucial to establishing an open learning environment is capturing the attention of non-science majors from the moment they enter the classroom. We use catastrophic ‘gloom and doom’ current events to pique the imagination with images, news stories, and videos. Once our students are hooked, we can further the learning process with use of other teaching methods: an inquiry-based approach that requires students take control of their own learning, a cooperative learning approach that requires the participation of all team members in peer learning, and a problem/case study learning approach that primarily relies on activities distilled from current events. The final outcome is focused on creating innovative methods to communicate the findings to the general public. With the general public being the audience for their communiqué, students are less intimated, more focused, and more involved in solving the problem. During lab sessions, teams of students actively engage in mastering course content and develop essential communication skills while exploring real-world scenarios. These activities allow students to use scientific reasoning and concepts to develop solutions for scenarios such as volcanic eruptions, coastal erosion/sea level rise, flooding or landslide hazards, and then creatively communicate their solutions to the public. For example, during a two
Tobin, R. G.
Abundant research leaves little question that pedagogical approaches involving active student engagement with the material, and opportunities for student-to-student discussions, lead to much better learning outcomes than traditional instructor-led, expository instructional formats, in physics and in many other fields. In introductory college…
Lang, Guido; O'Connell, Stephen D.
We investigate the relationship between learning styles, online content usage and exam performance in an undergraduate introductory Computer Information Systems class comprised of both online video tutorials and in-person classes. Our findings suggest that, across students, (1) traditional learning style classification methodologies do not predict…
Student Logical Implications and Connections between Symbolic Representations of a Linear System within the Context of an Introductory Linear Algebra Course Employing Inquiry-Oriented Teaching and Traditional Lecture
Payton, Spencer D.
This study aimed to explore how inquiry-oriented teaching could be implemented in an introductory linear algebra course that, due to various constraints, may not lend itself to inquiry-oriented teaching. In particular, the course in question has a traditionally large class size, limited amount of class time, and is often coordinated with other…
Frame, Tracy R; Cailor, Stephanie M; Gryka, Rebecca J; Chen, Aleda M; Kiersma, Mary E; Sheppard, Lorin
To evaluate pharmacy student perceptions of team-based learning (TBL) vs traditional lecture-based learning formats. First professional year pharmacy students (N=111) at two universities used TBL in different courses during different semesters (fall vs spring). Students completed a 22-item team perceptions instrument before and after the fall semester. A 14-item teaching style preference instrument was completed at the end of the spring semester. Data were analyzed using Wilcoxon signed rank test and Mann-Whitney U test. Students who experienced TBL in the fall and went back to traditional format in the spring reported improved perceptions of teams and preferred TBL format over a traditional format more than students who experienced a traditional format followed by TBL. Students at both universities agreed that the TBL format assists with critical-thinking, problem-solving, and examination preparation. Students also agreed that teams should consist of individuals with different personalities and learning styles. When building teams, faculty members should consider ways to diversify teams by considering different views, perspectives, and strengths. Offering TBL early in the curriculum prior to traditional lecture-based formats is better received by students, as evidenced by anecdotal reports from students possibly because it allows students time to realize the benefits and assist them in building teamwork-related skills.
McEvoy, James P
Active learning, including the promotion of student interactivity in lectures, has been found to improve student engagement and performance in university science classes. This letter describes the use of Pearson's Learning Catalytics to run regular, formatively assessed problem-solving sessions as part of the semiflipped redesign of an introductory level university bioscience course. Students found the problem-solving sessions more engaging than a traditional lecture, and felt that they were receiving better feedback on their progress in the course. Their participation in the problem-solving sessions was strongly associated with their performance in the course's summative assessments, making it possible to identify and assist probable poor performers early in the course. Other measures of student engagement with the course were not improved, and neither were their average exam grades when compared with their grades in a course which had not been redesigned. Possible reasons for this are discussed. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Santos, Michael R.; Hu, Aidong; Jordan, Douglas
The authors offer a classification technique to make a quantitative skills rubric more operational, with the groupings of multiple-choice questions to match the student learning levels in knowledge, calculation, quantitative reasoning, and analysis. The authors applied this classification technique to the mid-term exams of an introductory finance…
Loehr, John F.; Almarode, John T.; Tai, Robert H.; Sadler, Philip M.
In a climate where increasing numbers of students are encouraged to pursue post-secondary education, the level of preparedness students have for college-level coursework is not far from the minds of all educators, especially high school teachers. Specifically within the biological sciences, introductory biology classes often serve as the…
Jason J. B. Harlow; David M. Harrison; Andrew Meyertholen
We have studied the correlation of student performance in a large first year university physics course with their reasons for taking the course and whether or not the student took a senior-level high school physics course. Performance was measured both by the Force Concept Inventory and by the grade on the final examination. Students who took the course primarily for their own interest outperformed students who took the course primarily because it was required, both on the Force Concept Inven...
Inquiry-based pedagogies have a strong presence in proof-based undergraduate mathematics courses, but can be difficult to implement in courses that are large, procedural, or highly computational. An introductory course in statistics would thus seem an unlikely candidate for an inquiry-based approach, as these courses typically steer well clear of…
Sell, K. S.; Heather, M. R.; Herbert, B. E.
Exposing earth system science (ESS) concepts into introductory geoscience courses may present new and unique cognitive learning issues for students including understanding the role of positive and negative feedbacks in system responses to perturbations, spatial heterogeneity, and temporal dynamics, especially when systems exhibit complex behavior. Implicit learning goals of typical introductory undergraduate geoscience courses are more focused on building skill-sets and didactic knowledge in learners than developing a deeper understanding of the dynamics and processes of complex earth systems through authentic inquiry. Didactic teaching coupled with summative assessment of factual knowledge tends to limit student¡¦s understanding of the nature of science, their belief in the relevancy of science to their lives, and encourages memorization and regurgitation; this is especially true among the non-science majors who compose the majority of students in introductory courses within the large university setting. Students organize scientific knowledge and reason about earth systems by manipulating internally constructed mental models. This pilot study focuses on characterizing the impact of inquiry-based learning with multiple representations to foster critical thinking and mental model development about authentic environmental issues of coastal systems in an introductory geoscience course. The research was conducted in nine introductory physical geology laboratory sections (N ˜ 150) at Texas A&M University as part of research connected with the Information Technology in Science (ITS) Center. Participants were randomly placed into experimental and control groups. Experimental groups were exposed to multiple representations including both web-based learning materials (i.e. technology-supported visualizations and analysis of multiple datasets) and physical models, whereas control groups were provided with the traditional ¡workbook style¡" laboratory assignments
Engaging Students in Authentic Microbiology Research in an Introductory Biology Laboratory Course is Correlated with Gains in Student Understanding of the Nature of Authentic Research and Critical Thinking
Brittany J. Gasper
Full Text Available Recent recommendations for biology education highlight the role of authentic research experiences early in undergraduate education as a means of increasing the number and quality of biology majors. These experiences will inform students on the nature of science, increase their confidence in doing science, as well as foster critical thinking skills, an area that has been lacking despite it being one of the desired outcomes at undergraduate institutions and with future employers. With these things in mind, we have developed an introductory biology laboratory course where students design and execute an authentic microbiology research project. Students in this course are assimilated into the community of researchers by engaging in scholarly activities such as participating in inquiry, reading scientific literature, and communicating findings in written and oral formats. After three iterations of a semester-long laboratory course, we found that students who took the course showed a significant increase in their understanding of the nature of authentic research and their level of critical thinking skills.
Harlow, Jason J.?B.; Harrison, David M.; Meyertholen, Andrew
We have studied the correlation of student performance in a large first year university physics course with their reasons for taking the course and whether or not the student took a senior-level high school physics course. Performance was measured both by the Force Concept Inventory and by the grade on the final examination. Students who took the…
Brown, Patrick J. P.
Process-oriented guided-inquiry learning (POGIL), a pedagogical technique initially developed for college chemistry courses, has been implemented for 2 yr in a freshman-level anatomy and physiology course at a small private college. The course is populated with students with backgrounds ranging from no previous college-level science to junior and…
Landrum, R. Eric; Gurung, Regan A. R.
Almost 2 million students enroll in introductory psychology each year in the United States, making it the second most popular undergraduate course in the nation. Introductory psychology not only serves as a prerequisite for other courses in the discipline but for some students this course provides their only exposure to psychological science.…
Wagaman, John C.
This article describes four semesters of introductory statistics courses that incorporate service learning and gardening into the curriculum with applications of the binomial distribution, least squares regression and hypothesis testing. The activities span multiple semesters and are iterative in nature.
Kesonen, M H P; Asikainen, M A; Hirvonen, P E
This paper presents a 90 min tutorial intervention which permits the use of the Tutorials in Introductory Physics curriculum in a conventional physics course. In addition, the paper describes the impact of the intervention on students' understanding of the ray model of light in the context of geometrical images. In 2011 and 2012 a total of 79 introductory students participated in the intervention, where they worked with the Light and Shadow tutorial after having received lecture-based instruction in a conventional physics course. The impact of the intervention on the students' learning was assessed by means of paper-and-pencil test questions at the beginning and end of the intervention. The results showed that the proportion of correct or nearly correct answers increased by 17 percentage points during the intervention. Thus, it can be claimed that the intervention was a useful supplement to a conventional physics course by helping students to improve their understanding of the ray model of light. In addition, the intervention may serve as an intermediate step towards adopting the tutorials, since it permits the curriculum of a conventional physics course to be tested without large changes being made to the course. This type of information is needed in support of institutional changes towards more research-based instructional practices. (paper)
Most students entering our introductory astronomy course for nonscience majors arrive not merely lacking scientific facts-they also have misconceptions about the nature of science, and many have a handicapping ``science anxiety'' (in addition to math anxiety). So I have added a ``current science'' requirement to our introductory course. Each student must compile a file of five astronomy news articles taken from readily available sources.
The Introductory Advertising Course: Organization, Content, Textbooks and Testing; Proceedings of the Association for Education in Journalism-Junior College Journalism Association Advertising Workshop (Ft. Collins, Colorado, August, 1973).
Lynn, Jerry R., Ed.; Bowers, Thomas A., Ed.
This report describes the proceedings of the Association for Education in Journalism--Junior College Journalism Association Advertising Workshop, held at Fort Collins, Colorado, with the general objective of organizing an introductory advertising course. The specific objectives of the workshop were to determine the content, textbooks, and types of…
Hekmat-Scafe, Daria S.; Brownell, Sara E.; Seawell, Patricia Chandler; Malladi, Shyamala; Imam, Jamie F. Conklin; Singla, Veena; Bradon, Nicole; Cyert, Martha S.; Stearns, Tim
The opportunity to engage in scientific research is an important, but often neglected, component of undergraduate training in biology. We describe the curriculum for an innovative, course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) appropriate for a large, introductory cell and molecular biology laboratory class that leverages students' high…
Vandyke, Michael; Bassichis, William
Calculus-based introductory physics courses intended for future engineers and physicists are often designed and taught in the same fashion as those intended for students of other disciplines. A more mathematically rigorous curriculum should be more appropriate and, ultimately, more beneficial for the student in his or her future coursework. This work investigates the effects of mathematical rigor on student understanding of introductory mechanics. Using a series of diagnostic tools in conjunction with individual student course performance, a statistical analysis will be performed to examine student learning of introductory mechanics and its relation to student understanding of the underlying calculus.
Moore, Randy; Jensen, Philip A.
Science courses with hands-on investigative labs are a typical part of the general education requirements at virtually all colleges and universities. In these courses, labs that satisfy a curricular requirement for "lab experience" are important because they provide the essence of the scientific experience--that is, they give students…
Forcino, Frank L.
Laboratory sections of university Earth science courses provide hands-on, inquiry-based activities for students in support of lecture and discussion. Here, I compare student conceptual knowledge outcomes of laboratory sections by administering an independent concept inventory at the beginning and end of two courses: one that had a lecture and a…
Jakeman, A.J.; Hamilton, S.H.; Athanasiadis, I.N.; Pierce, S.A.
Introductory Overview articles are designed to provide introductory level background to key themes and topics that caters to the eclectic readership of EMS. It is envisaged that these articles will help to break down barriers to shared understanding and dialogue within multidisciplinary teams, and
Kiefer, Friedemann; Schulte-Merker, Stefan
This introductory section briefly highlights the subsequent chapters in the context of recent findings and open questions in lymphatic vessel biology. It aims to provide a quick overview and orientation in the contents of this monograph collection.
Xu, Di; Jaggars, Shanna Smith
Although online learning is rapidly expanding in the community college setting, there is little evidence regarding its effectiveness among community college students. In the current study, the authors used a statewide administrative data set to estimate the effects of taking one's first college-level math or English course online rather than face…
Gezer-Templeton, P. Gizem; Mayhew, Emily J.; Korte, Debra S.; Schmidt, Shelly J.
Research shows that students struggle to develop higher order thinking skills and effective study strategies during the transition from high school to college. Therefore, in addition to teaching course content, effective instructors should assist students in developing metacognitive skills, that is, the practice of thinking about their thinking.…
Bevan, Samantha J.; Chan, Cecilia W. L.; Tanner, Julian A.
Although there is increasing evidence for a relationship between courses that emphasize student engagement and achievement of student deep learning, there is a paucity of quantitative comparative studies in a biochemistry and molecular biology context. Here, we present a pedagogical study in two contrasting parallel biochemistry introductory…
Stotter, Philip L.; Culp, George H.
An experimental course in organic chemistry utilized computer-assisted instructional (CAI) techniques. The CAI lessons provided tutorial drill and practice and simulated experiments and reactions. The Conversational Language for Instruction and Computing was used, along with a CDC 6400-6600 system; students scheduled and completed the lessons at…
Klein, Barbara D.; Rossin, Don; Guo, Yi Maggie; Ro, Young K.
The authors investigated the effects of flow on learning outcomes in a graduate-level operations management course. Flow was assessed through an overall flow score, four dimensions of flow, and three characteristics of flow activities. Learning outcomes were measured objectively through multiple-choice quiz scores and subjectively using measures…
McGrath, April L.
Office hours provide time outside of class for students to consult with instructors about course material, progress, and evaluation. Yet office hours, at times, remain an untapped source of academic support. The current study examined whether office hour attendance in combination with a learning reflection would help students learn material in an…
At Appalachian State University students have to take just two semesters of a physical or biological science to satisfy the general education requirements. Most non-science major students have little time in their crowded schedules to take additional science courses, whether they want to or not, and in fact face a surcharge when taking more…
Videtich, Patricia E.; Neal, William J.
Using sieving and sample "unknowns" for instructional grain-size analysis and interpretation of sands in undergraduate sedimentology courses has advantages over other techniques. Students (1) learn to calculate and use statistics; (2) visually observe differences in the grain-size fractions, thereby developing a sense of specific size…
Husmann, Polly R.; O'Loughlin, Valerie Dean; Braun, Mark W.
This study compares overall laboratory averages and individual test scores along with a student survey to determine the effects of using virtual microscopy in place of optical microscopes in a large undergraduate human anatomy course. T-tests revealed that the first two laboratory examinations (of four) and the overall laboratory averages were…
Anderson, Alfred K.
The assessment of learning gains of students in science and other disciplines is becoming a reality following the gradual shift from the traditional style of teaching to a curriculum-based assessment of learning outcomes. The degree to which students perceive to have obtained the outcomes of a course can be measured through an assessment of…
Korte, Debra; Reitz, Nicholas; Schmidt, Shelly J.
Informed by the latest research on how people learn, effective teachers address both aspects of the teaching-learning equation--they engage students in the course material by implementing best teaching practices and they prepare students for learning by sharing best learning practices. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of…
Krom, Cynthia L.
This article explores the use of the free Zynga computer game FarmVille, which is played in conjunction with Facebook[R], to facilitate active learning in a managerial accounting course. Results indicate that it invokes an improved understanding of the accounting content, particularly among nonaccounting majors; a high level of student…
With a classroom full of millennial learners, it is essential that teacher educators adjust their pedagogy to meet their students' needs. This study explores the use of a flipped classroom model to engage preservice teachers in an Introduction to the Teaching Profession course. In addition, it explores the need for teacher education…
The purpose of this study was to examine the confidence levels that community college students have in transferring basic math skills to science classes, as well as any factors that influence their confidence levels. This study was conducted with 196 students at a community college in central Mississippi. The study was conducted during the month of November after all of the students had taken their midterm exams and received midterm grades. The instrument used in this survey was developed and validated by the researcher. The instrument asks the students to rate how confident they were in working out specific math problems and how confident they were in working problems using those specific math skills in physics and chemistry. The instrument also provided an example problem for every confidence item. Results revealed that students' demographics were significant predictors in confidence scores. Students in the 18-22 year old range were less confident in solving math problems than others. Students who had retaken a math course were less confident than those who had not. Chemistry students were less confident in solving math problems than those in physics courses. Chemistry II students were less confident than those in Chemistry I and Principals of Chemistry. Students were least confident in solving problems involving logarithms and the most confident in solving algebra problems. In general, students felt that their math courses did not prepare them for the math problems encountered in science courses. There was no significant difference in confidence between students who had completed their math homework online and those who had completed their homework on paper. The researcher recommends that chemistry educators find ways of incorporating more mathematics in their courses especially logarithms and slope. Furthermore, math educators should incorporate more chemistry related applications to math class. Results of hypotheses testing, conclusions, discussions, and
Tang, Fen; Chen, Chuan; Zhu, Yi; Zuo, Chengguo; Zhong, Yimin; Wang, Nan; Zhou, Lijun; Zou, Yuxian; Liang, Dan
ABSTRACT Background: In recent years, the flipped classroom method of teaching has received much attention in health sciences education. However, the application of flipped classrooms in ophthalmology education has not been well investigated. Objective: The goal of this study was to investigate the effectiveness and acceptability of the flipped classroom approach to teaching ophthalmology at the clerkship level. Design: Ninety-five fourth year medical students in an ophthalmology clerkship were randomly divided into two groups. An ocular trauma module was chosen for the content of this study. One group (FG (flipped group), n = 48) participated in flipped classroom instruction and was asked to watch a recorded lecture video and to read study materials before a face-to-face class meeting. They used the in-class time for discussion. The other group (TG (traditional group), n = 47) was assigned to traditional lecture-based instruction. These students attended a didactic lecture and completed assigned homework after the lecture. Feedback questionnaires were collected to compare students’ perspectives on the teaching approach they experienced and to evaluate students’ self-perceived competence and interest in ocular trauma. Pre- and post-tests were performed to assess student learning of the course materials. Results: More students in the FG agreed that the classroom helped to promote their learning motivation, improve their understanding of the course materials, and enhance their communication skill and clinical thinking. However, students in the FG did not show a preference for this method of teaching, and also reported more burden and pressure than those from the TG. Students from the FG performed better on the post test over the ocular trauma-related questions when compared to those from the TG. Conclusions: The flipped classroom approach shows promise in ophthalmology clerkship teaching. However, it has some drawbacks. Further evaluation and modifications
Tang, Fen; Chen, Chuan; Zhu, Yi; Zuo, Chengguo; Zhong, Yimin; Wang, Nan; Zhou, Lijun; Zou, Yuxian; Liang, Dan
In recent years, the flipped classroom method of teaching has received much attention in health sciences education. However, the application of flipped classrooms in ophthalmology education has not been well investigated. The goal of this study was to investigate the effectiveness and acceptability of the flipped classroom approach to teaching ophthalmology at the clerkship level. Ninety-five fourth year medical students in an ophthalmology clerkship were randomly divided into two groups. An ocular trauma module was chosen for the content of this study. One group (FG (flipped group), n = 48) participated in flipped classroom instruction and was asked to watch a recorded lecture video and to read study materials before a face-to-face class meeting. They used the in-class time for discussion. The other group (TG (traditional group), n = 47) was assigned to traditional lecture-based instruction. These students attended a didactic lecture and completed assigned homework after the lecture. Feedback questionnaires were collected to compare students' perspectives on the teaching approach they experienced and to evaluate students' self-perceived competence and interest in ocular trauma. Pre- and post-tests were performed to assess student learning of the course materials. More students in the FG agreed that the classroom helped to promote their learning motivation, improve their understanding of the course materials, and enhance their communication skill and clinical thinking. However, students in the FG did not show a preference for this method of teaching, and also reported more burden and pressure than those from the TG. Students from the FG performed better on the post test over the ocular trauma-related questions when compared to those from the TG. The flipped classroom approach shows promise in ophthalmology clerkship teaching. However, it has some drawbacks. Further evaluation and modifications are required before it can be widely accepted and implemented
Morrow, C. A.; Martin-Hansen, L.; Diem, J.; Elliott, W.
Georgia and beyond) our model for the NASA-enhancement of an introductory science course as a focal point for teacher preparation and professional development.
We describe an effort to develop and to implement a college-level introductory physics (mechanics) MOOC that offers bona fide laboratory experiences. We also discuss efforts to use MOOC curricular materials to ``flip'' the classroom in a large lecture introductory physics course offered on-campus at Georgia Tech. Preliminary results of assessments and surveys from both MOOC and on-campus students will be presented.
Bennedsen, Jens; Caspersen, Michael Edelgaard
It is a common conception that CS1 is a very difficult course and that failure rates are high. However, until now there has only been anecdotal evidence for this claim. This article reports on a survey among institutions around the world regarding failure rates in introductory programming courses...
Cook, H. M.; Bilsley, N. A.
As the demand for introductory earth science classes rises at educational institutions, large class sizes place strain on the educator's time and ability to offer extensive project-based assignments. As a result, exams covering a broad spectrum of material are more heavily weighted in students' grades. Students often struggle on the first exam, as they attempt to retain a large amount of information from several different topics, while having no exposure to the type of questions that will be asked. This frequently leads to a large dropout rate early in the academic term, or at least a sense of discouragement and stress among struggling students. To better prepare students for a broad scope exam, a review activity modelled after the traditional Milton Bradley "Memory" game was developed to remind students of what would be covered on the exam, prepare them for the style of questions that may be asked, as well as provide a fun, interactive, and educational activity. The Earth Science Memory Game was developed to have interchangeable sets to cover a broad range of topics and thus also be reusable for the duration of the course. Example games sets presented include, but are not limited to, the scientific method, minerals, rocks, topographic maps, tectonics, geologic structures, volcanoes, and weather. The Earth Science Memory Game not only provides an effective review tool to improve success rates on broad scope exams, but is also customizable by the instructor, reusable, and easily constructed by common office supplies.
Pascal, Jennifer; Tíjaro-Rojas, Rocío; Oyanader, Mario A.; Arce, Pedro E.
Relevant engineering applications, such as bioseparation of proteins and DNA, soil-cleaning, motion of colloidal particles in different media, electrical field-based cancer treatments, and the cleaning of surfaces and coating flows, belongs to the family of 'Applied Field Sensitive Process Technologies' requiring an external field to move solutes in a fluid within a fibrous (or porous) domain. This field incorporates an additional variable that makes the analysis very challenging and can create for the student a number of new problems to solve. A graduate-level course, based on active-learning approaches and High Performance Learning Environments, where transfer of knowledge plays a key role, was designed by the Chemical Engineering Department at Tennessee Technological University. This course, where the fundamentals principles of EKHD were taught to science, engineering and technology students was designed by the Chemical Engineering Department at the Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN. An important number of these students were able to grasp the tools required to advance their research projects that led to numerous technical presentations in professional society meetings and publications in peered-reviewed journals.
Pieper, Barbara; Keves-Foster, Mary Kathryn; Ashare, JoAnn; Zugcic, Mary; Albdour, Maha; Albdour, Dalia
Because nurses frequently participate in decisions related to wound care, learning about wounds and their care during undergraduate education is critical. A cross-sectional, descriptive, quality improvement project was conducted in an introductory baccalaureate nursing course to identify: 1) the types of patients with wounds assigned to beginning students, 2) patient wound care procedures and dressings, and 3) student level of participation in wound care. Data were collected from the weekly notes recorded about students' (N = 49) patient care experiences in 3 acute care hospitals for 9 clinical days during 1 semester. Data were recorded on a paper-and-pencil form by instructors at the end of the clinical day and included type of wound, wound irrigation, dressing, technique of care, and student's participation. Descriptive statistics were used to examine the frequency and distribution of the wound characteristics and care assessed. Of the 284 patients assigned to students, 75 (26.4%) had a wound. The most common wound was a surgical incision (49, 65%) and was closed (36, 73.5%). Twenty-six (26) patients had a pressure ulcer, most commonly Stage II. The most common dressing was dry gauze (29). Damp gauze was used on 18 wounds. Wound irrigation was recorded for 24 wound protocols and performed with a bulb syringe or by pouring the solution from a container. Generally, nonsterile wound care was performed. Twenty-five (25) students performed wound care with the instructor, 16 watched the care performed by another clinician, and 10 participated with another nurse in the wound care. For 22 patients, the wound care was neither observed nor performed because either it was not time for the dressing to be changed or it was only to be changed by a medical team. From these data, it was concluded beginning nursing students had some, but limited, clinical experience with patients with wounds. Students' wound care experiences need further examination, especially across multiple
Visser, Yusra Laila
This study compared the effect of lecture-based instruction to that of problem-based instruction on learner performance (on near-transfer and far-transfer problems), problem solving processes (reasoning strategy usage and reasoning efficiency), and attitudes (overall motivation and learner confidence) in a Genetics course. The study also analyzed the effect of self-regulatory skills and prior-academic achievement on performance for both instructional strategies. Sixty 11th grade students at a public math and science academy were assigned to either a lecture-based instructional strategy or a problem-based instructional strategy. Both treatment groups received 18 weeks of Genetics instruction through the assigned instructional strategy. In terms of problem solving performance, results revealed that the lecture-based group performed significantly better on near-transfer post-test problems. The problem-based group performed significantly better on far-transfer post-test problems. In addition, results indicated the learners in the lecture-based instructional treatment were significantly more likely to employ data-driven reasoning in the solving of problems, whereas learners in the problem-based instructional treatment were significantly more likely to employ hypothesis-driven reasoning in problem solving. No significant differences in reasoning efficiency were uncovered between treatment groups. Preliminary analysis of the motivation data suggested that there were no significant differences in motivation between treatment groups. However, a post-research exploratory analysis suggests that overall motivation was significantly higher in the lecture-based instructional treatment than in the problem-based instructional treatment. Learner confidence was significantly higher in the lecture-based group than in the problem-based group. A significant positive correlation was detected between self-regulatory skills scores and problem solving performance scores in the problem
Brownell, Sara E.; Wenderoth, Mary Pat
Although gender gaps have been a major concern in male-dominated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines such as physics and engineering, the numerical dominance of female students in biology has supported the assumption that gender disparities do not exist at the undergraduate level in life sciences. Using data from 23 large introductory biology classes for majors, we examine two measures of gender disparity in biology: academic achievement and participation in whole-class discussions. We found that females consistently underperform on exams compared with males with similar overall college grade point averages. In addition, although females on average represent 60% of the students in these courses, their voices make up less than 40% of those heard responding to instructor-posed questions to the class, one of the most common ways of engaging students in large lectures. Based on these data, we propose that, despite numerical dominance of females, gender disparities remain an issue in introductory biology classrooms. For student retention and achievement in biology to be truly merit based, we need to develop strategies to equalize the opportunities for students of different genders to practice the skills they need to excel. PMID:25185231
M. Moazeni Bistegani
Full Text Available Introduction : various methods of teaching have different learning outcomes. Using a combination of teaching and training methods of training may boost education. This study compared lecture based and case based teaching as a combined approach in learning general surgery by medical students. Methods: This study was a quasi-experimental performed on two consecutive groups of 33 and 36 students who were studying general surgery course. The two styles of teaching were lecture-based and real case teaching methods. The final exam included twenty multiple choice questions. The mean scores of each group of students were collected and analyzed accordingly with descriptive tests, Fisher’s test and T-test. Results: The mean final mark of students' who received real case based education was 16.8/20 ± 1.8 and for the lecture group was 12.7± 1.7. There was a significant difference between the two groups (P <0.0001. In both groups, there were significant differences in the mean scores of questions with taxonomy two and three, but not in the questions with taxonomy one. Students' evaluation score of the teacher of the real case group increased by 1.7/20 (8.7% in the case based group compared to the lecture group. Conclusions: Case based teaching of general surgery led to a better outcome and students were more satisfied. It is recommended that case based education of surgery be encouraged.
Bahri, Ujjal Singh; Walia, Paramjit Singh
This introductory text in Punjabi (also spelled Panjabi) is intended primarily for those whose mother tongue is not Punjabi but are native speakers of other Indian languages. Some familiarity with the Punjabi cultural items is presupposed. The non-Indian may, however, also be able to use this text with profit since the lessons are graded. The…
Concepts in Geology (EES 345) is an inquiry-based ten-week geoscience course for pre-service elementary and middle-school teachers at Wright State University. For most of them, this is the first and last geoscience class that they take. Required readings are an important part of the class because of the amount of vocabulary and number of concepts that students need to master. It is not possible to spend much class time on lectures that cover the same material, as students are expected to be doing hands-on activities, presentations, discussions, and laboratory exercises applying the material learned from reading. As the instructor, I administer frequent quizzes to encourage students to do the reading and to take notes. The quizzes are 10 multiple-choice questions each and the students are allowed to use a single page of notes. After they complete their quizzes individually, the students gather in groups of three or four and work on the same questions, but are allowed to discuss their answers. This motivates students further to be scrupulous about reading, enables them to help each other overcome mistakes, and helps them work out difficult problems that overwhelmed individuals in the group. The average group scores on in-class, closed- book quizzes are almost always higher than highest average individual score (more than 5% on the average), so even the best-prepared person in the group is managing to learn something from his or her peers. After the all the scores are recorded, I tally the number of correct group and individual answers to each question. If one or more groups gets a question wrong, it's clearly a hard question and worth going over during class time. If more than half of the groups get a question wrong, it is not scored as part of the total. When I used a new text last spring, students found the quizzes overwhelmingly hard. So I let students take the individual quizzes home to answer directly from the book and continued to give group quizzes in class
Robinson, Nakia Rae
independent predictor of attitudes toward science, albeit negatively. The results from this study indicated that there is a need to increase the opportunity for inquiry in the science laboratory. The data also suggest that although all academic streams may have similar views of the laboratory experiences, more needs to be implemented to improve the scientific attitudes of nonscience majors enrolled in a course for science majors.
Salehzadeh Einabad, Omid
Introductory physics courses often serve as gatekeepers for many scientific and engineering programs and, increasingly, colleges are relying on large, lecture formats for these courses. Many students, however, leave having learned very little physics and with poor views of the subject. In interactive engagement (IE), classroom activities encourage students to engage with each other and with physics concepts and to be actively involved in their own learning. These methods have been shown to be effective in introductory physics classes with small group recitations. This study examined student learning and views of physics in a large enrollment course that included IE methods with no separate, small-group recitations. In this study, a large, lecture-based course included activities that had students explaining their reasoning both verbally and in writing, revise their ideas about physics concepts, and apply their reasoning to various problems. The questions addressed were: (a) What do students learn about physics concepts and how does student learning in this course compare to that reported in the literature for students in a traditional course?, (b) Do students' views of physics change and how do students' views of physics compare to that reported in the literature for students in a traditional course?, and (c) Which of the instructional strategies contribute to student learning in this course? Data included: pre-post administration of the Force Concept Inventory (FCI), classroom exams during the term, pre-post administration of the Colorado Learning Attitudes About Science Survey (CLASS), and student work, interviews, and open-ended surveys. The average normalized gain (=0.32) on the FCI falls within the medium-gain range as reported in the physics education literature, even though the average pre-test score was very low (30%) and this was the instructor's first implementation of IE methods. Students' views of physics remained relatively unchanged by instruction
Vanderlinden, David Winston
This study reports the use of historically accurate narratives (short stories) to simultaneously teach geology content and the nature of science in an introductory, undergraduate geology course. The stories describe key events involved in the development of geologists' ideas about continental drift/plate tectonics and deep time/the age of the Earth. The design of the stories provides a highly contextualized setting which is designed to promote NOS and geology understanding by explicitly attending students to fundamental concepts and requiring students to reflect on the short story content. Evidence is reported to support the conclusion that students using these short stories constructed a better understanding of (1) the variety of processes involved in the construction of scientific knowledge, (2) the subjective nature of data that allows it to be interpreted differently by different scientists, and (3) the roles that culture and society play in determining the way in which scientific work is conducted and scientific ideas are constructed, while maintaining equal levels of understanding of geology content when compared to students who did not use the short stories. In some cases, students' preconceptions about objectivity in science, the degree to which scientific ideas can be considered as "proven" or "true," and the role of discovery in science appear to have adversely affected their ability to interpret the short story content in the ways intended. In addition, students' misconceptions about differences in how oceanic and continental plates were formed and geologists' use of relative and absolute dating techniques, especially the appropriate uses of radio-isotopic dating, are described. This study has implications for science instructors as they make efforts to efficiently use class time and curriculum resources to teach about the both the content and context of science and for geology instructors as they consider students' misconceptions about plate tectonics
Eason, Grace Teresa
The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to determine the effect a higher-order questioning strategy (Bloom, 1956) had on undergraduate non-science majors' attitudes toward the environment and their achievement in an introductory environmental science course, EDS 1032, "Survey of Science 2: Life Science," which was offered during the Spring 2000 term. Students from both treatment and control groups (N = 63), which were determined using intact classes, participated in eight cooperative group activities based on the Biological Sciences Curriculum Studies (BSCS) 5E model (Bybee, 1993). The treatment group received a higher-order questioning method combined with the BSCS 5E model. The control group received a lower-order questioning method, combined with the BSCS 5E model. Two instruments were used to measure students' attitude and achievement changes. The Ecology Issue Attitude (EIA) survey (Schindler, 1995) and a comprehensive environmental science final exam. Kolb's Learning Style Inventory (KLSI, 1985) was used to measure students' learning style type. After a 15-week treatment period, results were analyzed using MANCOVA. The overall MANCOVA model used to test the statistical difference between the collective influences of the independent variables on the three dependent variables simultaneously was found to be not significant at alpha = .05. This differs from findings of previous studies in which higher-order questioning techniques had a significant effect on student achievement (King 1989 & 1992; Blosser, 1991; Redfield and Rousseau, 1981; Gall 1970). At the risk of inflated Type I and Type II error rates, separate univariate analyses were performed. However, none of the research factors, when examined collectively or separately, made any significant contribution to explaining the variability in EIA attitude, EIA achievement, and comprehensive environmental science final examination scores. Nevertheless, anecdotal evidence from student's self
Gallagher, Daniel J.; Thompson, G. Rodney
To aid secondary school and college level economics teachers as they select textbooks for introductory economics courses, this article recounts how teachers can use the Flesch Reading Ease Test to measure readability. Data are presented on application of the Flesch Reading Ease Test to 15 introductory economics textbooks. (Author/DB)
Lin, Shih-Yin; Singh, Chandralekha
In this study, we examine introductory physics students' ability to perform analogical reasoning between two isomorphic problems which employ the same underlying physics principles but have different surface features. Three hundred sixty-two students from a calculus-based and an algebra-based introductory physics course were given a quiz in the…
Full Text Available The authors present the results of a study conducted at a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant university. A quasi-experimental design was chosen for this study to compare student performance in two different classroom environments, traditional versus flipped. The study spanned 3 years, beginning fall 2012 through spring 2015. The participants included 433 declared business majors who self-enrolled in several sections of the Management Information Systems course during the study. The results of the current study mirrored those of previous works as the instructional method impacted students’ final grade. Thus, reporting that the flipped classroom approach offers flexibility with no loss of performance when compared to traditional lecture-based environments.
Barbarick, K. A.
Students in introductory courses generally respond favorably to novel approaches to learning. To this end, I developed and used three crossword puzzles in spring and fall 2009 semesters in Introductory Soil Science Laboratory at Colorado State University. The first hypothesis was that crossword puzzles would improve introductory soil science…
Lee, Gregory T
This carefully written textbook offers a thorough introduction to abstract algebra, covering the fundamentals of groups, rings and fields. The first two chapters present preliminary topics such as properties of the integers and equivalence relations. The author then explores the first major algebraic structure, the group, progressing as far as the Sylow theorems and the classification of finite abelian groups. An introduction to ring theory follows, leading to a discussion of fields and polynomials that includes sections on splitting fields and the construction of finite fields. The final part contains applications to public key cryptography as well as classical straightedge and compass constructions. Explaining key topics at a gentle pace, this book is aimed at undergraduate students. It assumes no prior knowledge of the subject and contains over 500 exercises, half of which have detailed solutions provided.
Bare, John K.
A microcomputer was used successfully to replicate Sternberg's 1966 study of retrieval from short-term memory and Sperling's 1960 study on sensory or iconic memory. Computers with a capacity for measuring reaction time are useful in the laboratory for introductory psychology courses. (SR)
Witmer, Jeffrey A.
Concept maps are tools for organizing thoughts on the main ideas in a course. I present an example of a concept map that was created through the work of students in an introductory class and discuss major topics in statistics and relationships among them.
Fisher, Kathleen M.; Lipson, Joseph I.
Defining a "misconception" as an error of translation (transformation, correspondence, interpolation, interpretation) between two different kinds of information which causes students to have incorrect expectations, a Taxonomy of Errors has been developed to examine student misconceptions in an introductory biology course for science…
How are learning physics and student beliefs about learning physics connected? Measuring epistemological self-reflection in an introductory course and investigating its relationship to conceptual learning
May, David B.
To explore students' epistemological beliefs in a variety of conceptual domains in physics, and in a specific and novel context of measurement, this Dissertation makes use of Weekly Reports, a class assignment in which students reflect in writing on what they learn each week and how they learn it. Reports were assigned to students in the introductory physics course for honors engineering majors at The Ohio State University in two successive years. The Weekly Reports of several students from the first year were analyzed for the kinds of epistemological beliefs exhibited therein, called epistemological self-reflection, and a coding scheme was developed for categorizing and quantifying this reflection. The connection between epistemological self-reflection and conceptual learning in physics seen in a pilot study was replicated in a larger study, in which the coded reflections from the Weekly Reports of thirty students were correlated with their conceptual learning gains. Although the total amount of epistemological self-reflection was not found to be related to conceptual gain, different kinds of epistemological self-reflection were. Describing learning physics concepts in terms of logical reasoning and making personal connections were positively correlated with gains; describing learning from authority figures or by observing phenomena without making inferences were negatively correlated. Linear regression equations were determined in order to quantify the effects on conceptual gain of specific ways of describing learning. In an experimental test of this model, the regression equations and the Weekly Report coding scheme developed from the first year's data were used to predict the conceptual gains of thirty students from the second year. The prediction was unsuccessful, possibly because these students were not given as much feedback on their reflections as were the first-year students. These results show that epistemological beliefs are important factors affecting
Brahmia, Suzanne M.
Mathematization is central to STEM disciplines as a cornerstone of the quantitative reasoning that characterizes these fields. Introductory physics is required for most STEM majors in part so that students develop expert-like mathematization. This dissertation describes coordinated research and curriculum development for strengthening mathematization in introductory physics; it blends scholarship in physics and mathematics education in the form of three papers. The first paper explores mathematization in the context of physics, and makes an original contribution to the measurement of physics students' struggle to mathematize. Instructors naturally assume students have a conceptual mastery of algebra before embarking on a college physics course because these students are enrolled in math courses beyond algebra. This paper provides evidence that refutes the validity of this assumption and categorizes some of the barriers students commonly encounter with quantification and representing ideas symbolically. The second paper develops a model of instruction that can help students progress from their starting points to their instructor's desired endpoints. Instructors recognize that the introductory physics course introduces new ideas at an astonishing rate. More than most physicists realize, however, the way that mathematics is used in the course is foreign to a large portion of class. This paper puts forth an instructional model that can move all students toward better quantitative and physical reasoning, despite the substantial variability of those students' initial states. The third paper describes the design and testing of curricular materials that foster mathematical creativity to prepare students to better understand physics reasoning. Few students enter introductory physics with experience generating equations in response to specific challenges involving unfamiliar quantities and units, yet this generative use of mathematics is typical of the thinking involved in
Wirth, Frederick H.
An introductory Natural Science course with a focus on the laboratory is described. The main function of the course is getting students prepared for required individual projects in science. A copy of the syllabus, a description of laboratory experiments, and the context of the course are included. (KR)
Reports on a study to determine whether the presence of coordinate axes in a test of spatial-visualization ability affects scores and response times on a mental-rotations task for students enrolled in undergraduate introductory graphic communications classes. Based on Pavios's dual-coding theory. Contains 36 references. (DDR)
Owhoso, Vincent; Malgwi, Charles A.; Akpomi, Margaret
The authors examine whether students who completed a computer-based intervention program, designed to help them develop abilities and skills in introductory accounting, later declared accounting as a major. A sample of 1,341 students participated in the study, of which 74 completed the intervention program (computer-based assisted learning [CBAL])…
Wijnia, Lisette; Loyens, Sofie M. M.; Derous, Eva
This study examines the effects of two learning environments (i.e., problem-based learning [PBL] versus lecture-based [LB] environments) on undergraduates' study motivation. Survey results demonstrated that PBL students scored higher on competence but did not differ from LB students on autonomous motivation. Analyses of focus groups further…
McCullough, Kerry; Munro, Nicholas
Consistent with current higher education concerns with student engagement and the student experience, this study explored third-year undergraduate Finance students' experiences of lecture-based active learning tasks. Finance students from the 2012 and 2014 cohorts from a South African university were invited to complete an anonymous questionnaire…
Full Text Available Introductory Comments The fifth yearly volume of the Colloquia Humanistica comprises a thematic section on Nation, Natsiya, Ethnie. The subject it discusses has thus far received little attention as a research problem in the Slavia Orthodoxa, the Slavia Romana, the Balkans but also in Central and Eastern Europe. Uwagi wstępne Piąty numer rocznika "Colloquia Humanistica" przedstawia dział tematyczny, poświęcony kategoriom narodu, nacji i etni. Temat ten, w takiej perspektywie, którą proponujemy, nie spotkał się dotąd z należytym namysłem badawczym w sferze Slavia Otrhodoxa, Slavia Romana i na Bałkanach, jak też w Europie Środkowo-Wschodniej.
Gryka, Rebecca; Kiersma, Mary E; Frame, Tracy R; Cailor, Stephanie M; Chen, Aleda M H
To evaluate differences in student confidence and perceptions of biochemistry concepts using a team-based learning (TBL) format versus a traditional lecture-based format at two universities. Two pedagogies (TBL vs lecture-based) were utilized to deliver biochemistry concepts at two universities in a first-professional year, semester-long biochemistry course. A 21-item instrument was created and administered pre-post semester to assess changes in confidence in learning biochemistry concepts using Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory (eight items, 5-point, Likert-type) and changes in student perceptions of biochemistry utilizing the theory of planned behavior (TPB) domains (13 items, 7- point, Likert-type). Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to evaluate pre-post changes, and Mann Whitney U tests for differences between universities. All students (N=111) had more confidence in biochemistry concepts post-semester, but TBL students (N=53) were significantly more confident. TBL students also had greater agreement that they are expected to actively engage in science courses post-semester, according to the perceptions of biochemistry subscale. No other differences between lecture and TBL were observed post-semester. Students in a TBL course had greater gains in confidence. Since students often engage in tasks where they feel confident, TBL can be a useful pedagogy to promote student learning. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Arribas Garde, Enrique; Escobar García, Isabel; Suárez, Carmen P.; Nájera López, Alberto; Beléndez Vázquez, Augusto
This is a reply to the comment by Iqbal and Anwar on our recently published work. First of all, the authors of ‘Measurement of the magnetic field of small magnets with a smartphone: a very economical laboratory practice for introductory physics courses’ greatly appreciate the comments of Iqbal and Anwar. One of us (AB) is very grateful to the Vicerectorship of Information Technologies of the University of Alicante (Spain) the help of GITE-09006-UA and to the Generalitat Valenciana (Spain),...
Griggs, Richard A.; Christopher, Andrew N.
It is important to assess periodically how introductory textbooks portray our discipline because introductory psychology is the most popular psychology course, almost all teachers use textbooks for it, and textbooks play a major role in defining the course for students. To do so, past studies have used textbook citation analyses. We analyzed…
Kjonaas, Richard A.; Williams, Peggy E.; Counce, David A.; Crawley, Lindsey R.
A method for the synthesis of ibuprofen in introductory organic chemistry laboratory courses is reported. This experiment requires two 3-h lab sessions. All of the reactions and techniques are a standard part of any introductory organic chemistry course. In the first lab session, students reduce p-isobutylacetophenone to an alcohol and then…
Hatem Ezzat Nabih
Full Text Available This article presents a process-based learning approach to design education where theoretical coursework is taught in studio-style. Lecture-based coursework is sometimes regarded as lacking in challenge and broadening the gap between theory and practice. Furthermore, lecture-based curricula tend to be detached from the studio and deny students from applying their theoretically gained knowledge. Following the belief that student motivation is increased by establishing a higher level of autonomy in the learning process, I argue for a design education that links theory with applied design work within the studio setting. By synthesizing principles of Constructivist Learning and Problem-Based Learning, PBL students are given greater autonomy by being actively involved in their education. Accordingly, I argue for a studio setting that incorporates learning in studio style by presenting three design applications involving students in investigation and experimentation in order to self-experience the design process.
Full Text Available Introductory Comments The sixth issue (not just in the Thematic Section is devoted to the borders of civilization in our memory, in culture, in art, in literature, in the arrangement of political objectives. Both their demarcation and their crossing is a matter of the objectives we can and want to set ourselves in the context of the order that exists and into which we try to fit, transforming it or levelling. The value of this survey of “images of borders” is its setting in such varied material, owing to which the theoretical speculations gain a representative illustration and, at the same time, a guarantee of being rooted, even if it is only a “contact zone”. Wprowadzenie Szósty numer (nie tylko sekcja tematyczna jest poświęcony kwestii granic cywilizacji w naszej pamięci, kulturze, sztuce, literaturze, w definiowaniu celów politycznych. Zarówno ich wyznaczanie, jak i przekraczanie, jest kwestią celów, jakie możemy i chcemy postawić sobie w kontekście istniejącego ładu, w który staramy się wpisać, przekształcając go lub dostosowując się do niego. Wartością niniejszego przeglądu "obrazów granic" jest przedstawienie ich poprzez tak zróżnicowany materiał, dzięki czemu rozważania teoretyczne zyskują reprezentatywną ilustrację, a zarazem gwarancję zakorzenienia, nawet jeśli będzie to tylko "sfera kontaktu".
Khatiban, Mahnaz; Falahan, Seyede Nayereh; Amini, Roya; Farahanchi, Afshin; Soltanian, Alireza
Moral reasoning is a vital skill in the nursing profession. Teaching moral reasoning to students is necessary toward promoting nursing ethics. The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of problem-based learning and lecture-based methods in ethics education in improving (1) moral decision-making, (2) moral reasoning, (3) moral development, and (4) practical reasoning among nursing students. This is a repeated measurement quasi-experimental study. Participants and research context: The participants were nursing students in a University of Medical Sciences in west of Iran who were randomly assigned to the lecture-based (n = 33) or the problem-based learning (n = 33) groups. The subjects were provided nursing ethics education in four 2-h sessions. The educational content was similar, but the training methods were different. The subjects completed the Nursing Dilemma Test before, immediately after, and 1 month after the training. The data were analyzed and compared using the SPSS-16 software. Ethical considerations: The program was explained to the students, all of whom signed an informed consent form at the baseline. The two groups were similar in personal characteristics (p > 0.05). A significant improvement was observed in the mean scores on moral development in the problem-based learning compared with the lecture-based group (p ethics education enhances moral development among nursing students. However, further studies are needed to determine whether such method improves moral decision-making, moral reasoning, practical considerations, and familiarity with the ethical issues among nursing students.
Ferraro, John R
Praise for Introductory Raman Spectroscopy Highlights basic theory, which is treated in an introductory fashion Presents state-of-the-art instrumentation Discusses new applications of Raman spectroscopy in industry and research.
This article examines whether first-year students in introductory economics courses get better grades if they have other students in their on-campus residential unit who either are taking the same course or have taken the course in the past. The study uses nine years of data for the introductory economics course at Reed College. The author finds…
Eddy, Sarah L; Brownell, Sara E; Wenderoth, Mary Pat
Although gender gaps have been a major concern in male-dominated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines such as physics and engineering, the numerical dominance of female students in biology has supported the assumption that gender disparities do not exist at the undergraduate level in life sciences. Using data from 23 large introductory biology classes for majors, we examine two measures of gender disparity in biology: academic achievement and participation in whole-class discussions. We found that females consistently underperform on exams compared with males with similar overall college grade point averages. In addition, although females on average represent 60% of the students in these courses, their voices make up less than 40% of those heard responding to instructor-posed questions to the class, one of the most common ways of engaging students in large lectures. Based on these data, we propose that, despite numerical dominance of females, gender disparities remain an issue in introductory biology classrooms. For student retention and achievement in biology to be truly merit based, we need to develop strategies to equalize the opportunities for students of different genders to practice the skills they need to excel. © 2014 S. L. Eddy et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2014 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Ilgüy, Mehmet; Ilgüy, Dilhan; Fişekçioğlu, Erdoğan; Oktay, Inci
The aim of this study was to compare the impact of case-based learning (CBL) and lecture-based learning (LBL) on fourth-year dental students' clinical decision making by using the Structure of Observed Learning Outcome (SOLO) taxonomy. Participants in the study were fourth-year dental students (n=55) in academic year 2012-13 taught in a large-group LBL context and fourth-year dental students (n=54) in academic year 2013-14 taught with the CBL methodology; both took place in the oral diseases course at Yeditepe University Faculty of Dentistry, Istanbul, Turkey. All eligible students participated, for a 100 percent response rate. A real case was presented to the students in both groups to assess their clinical decision making on the topic of oral diseases. Their performance was evaluated with the SOLO taxonomy. Student t-test was used for statistical evaluation, and significance was set at the pSOLO taxonomy than students taught with LBL. These findings suggest that an integrated case-based curriculum may be effective in promoting students' deep learning and it holds promise for better integration of clinical cases likely to be encountered during independent practice.
Entropy changes underlie the physics that dominates biological interactions. Indeed, introductory biology courses often begin with an exploration of the qualities of water that are important to living systems. However, one idea that is not explicitly addressed in most introductory physics or biology courses is important contribution of the entropy in driving fundamental biological processes towards equilibrium. I will present material developed to teach electrostatic screening in solutions and the function of nerve cells where entropic effects act to counterbalance electrostatic attraction. These ideas are taught in an introductory, calculus-based physics course to biomedical engineers using SCALEUP pedagogy. Results of student mastering of complex problems that cross disciplinary boundaries between biology and physics, as well as the challenges that they face in learning this material will be presented.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Problem based learning (PBL is an approach to learning and instruction in which students tackle problems in small groups under the supervision of a teacher. This style of learning assumed to foster increased retention of knowledge, improve student’s gene ral problem solving skills, enhance integration of basic science concepts in to clinical problems, foster the development of self - directed learning skills and strengthen student’s intrinsic motivation. AIM: The study was conducted to compare the effect of Problem based learning in comparison with lecture based learning. SETTING: A cross - sectional study was conducted among 2nd year MBBS students of Jubilee Mission Medical College and Research Institute, Thrissur during the period of December 2014 to March 20 15. METHODOLOGY: The batch is divided into two groups (A & B, 45 in each group. By using PBL method, blunt force injuries were taught to Group - A and sharp weapon injuries to group - B. By using lecture based learning (LBL method blunt force injuries were t aught to Group - B and sharp weapon injuries to group - A. At the end of the session a test in the form of MCQ was conducted on the students to evaluate their learning outcome. OBSERVATION AND RESU LTS: In session I, the average test score of LBL group was 8.16 and PBL group was 12. The difference was statistically significant. In session - II also 45 students has participated each in LBL and PBL classes. The average of test score of LBL group was 7.267 and PBL was 11.289, which was highly significant statistical ly . CONCLUSION: Study has proven that problem based learning is an effective teaching learning method when compared to conventional lecture based learning.
Zhang, Y.; Kruse, S.; George, O.; Esmaeili, S.; Papadimitrios, K. S.; Bank, C. G.; Cadmus, A.; Kenneally, N.; Patton, K.; Brusher, J.
Students of diverse academic backgrounds take introductory geophysics courses to learn the theory of a variety of measurement and analysis methods with the expectation to be able to apply their basic knowledge to real data. Ideally, such data is collected in field courses and also used in lecture-based courses because they provide a critical context for better learning and understanding of geophysical methods. Each method requires a separate software package for the data processing steps, and the complexity and variety of professional software makes the path through data processing to data interpretation a strenuous learning process for students and a challenging teaching task for instructors. SIGKit (Student Investigation of Geophysics Toolkit) being developed as a collaboration between the University of South Florida, the University of Toronto, and MathWorks intends to address these shortcomings by showing the most essential processing steps and allowing students to visualize the underlying physics of the various methods. It is based on MATLAB software and offered as an easy-to-use graphical user interface and packaged so it can run as an executable in the classroom and the field even on computers without MATLAB licenses. An evaluation of the software based on student feedback from focus-group interviews and think-aloud observations helps drive its development and refinement. The toolkit provides a logical gateway into the more sophisticated and costly software students will encounter later in their training and careers by combining essential visualization, modeling, processing, and analysis steps for seismic, GPR, magnetics, gravity, resistivity, and electromagnetic data.
Levine, David M.; Stephan, David F.
Introductory business statistics students often receive little guidance on how to apply the methods they learn to further business objectives they may one day face. And those students may fail to see the continuity among the topics taught in an introductory course if they learn those methods outside a context that provides a unifying framework.…
King, Gail Hoover; McConnell, Cheryl
Teaching introductory accounting courses can be both challenging and rewarding. In introductory financial and managerial accounting, students struggle with the unfamiliar terminology and concepts. However, managerial accounting offers distinct challenges in that managerial accounting reports used for decision-making are not publically available,…
Abdul-Razzaq, Wathiq; Thakur, Saikat Chakraborty
We all know that we must improve the quality of teaching in science at all levels. Not only physicists but also many students from other areas of study take the introductory physics courses in college. Physics introductory laboratories (labs) can be one of the best tools to help these students understand applications of scientific principles that…
Wieman, Carl; Holmes, N. G.
We have analyzed the impact of taking an associated lab course on the scores on final exam questions in two large introductory physics courses. Approximately a third of the students who completed each course also took an accompanying instructional lab course. The lab courses were fairly conventional, although they focused on supporting the mastery of a subset of the introductory physics topics covered in the associated course. Performance between students who did and did not take the lab cour...
Textbooks are powerful technologies that are foundational to introductory level courses. In the research site of an introductory economic classroom, the textbook is positioned as having status similar to that of a canonical religious text. This study investigated how student reading and writing can be problematic when introductory level courses…
Griggs, Richard A.
To determine how topical coverage in introductory textbooks may have changed from the 1980s to the present, the author examined topic coverage in full-length and brief introductory textbooks from this time period. Because 98% of the teachers use textbooks for the introductory course and the majority do not assign reading beyond the textbook, the…
Homa, Natalie; Hackathorn, Jana; Brown, Carrie M.; Garczynski, Amy; Solomon, Erin D.; Tennial, Rachel; Sanborn, Ursula A.; Gurung, Regan A. R.
Introductory psychology is one of the most popular undergraduate courses and often serves as the gateway to choosing psychology as an academic major. However, little research has examined the typical structure of introductory psychology courses. The current study examined student learning objectives (SLOs) and course content in introductory…
Manduca, C.; Tewksbury, B.; Egger, A.; MacDonald, H.; Kirk, K.
Introductory undergraduate courses play a pivotal role in the geosciences. They serve as recruiting grounds for majors and future professionals, provide relevant experiences in geoscience for pre-service teachers, and offer opportunities to influence future policy makers, business people, professionals, and citizens. An introductory course is also typically the only course in geoscience that most of our students will ever take. Because the role of introductory courses is pivotal in geoscience education, a workshop on Teaching Introductory Courses in the 21st Century was held in July 2008 as part of the On the Cutting Edge faculty development program. A website was also developed in conjunction with the workshop. One of the central themes of the workshop was the importance of considering the long-term impact a course should have on students. Ideally, courses can be designed with this impact in mind. Approaches include using the local geology to focus the course and illustrate concepts; designing a course for particular audience (such as Geology for Engineers); creating course features that help students understand and interpret geoscience in the news; and developing capstone projects to teach critical thinking and problem solving skills in a geologic context. Workshop participants also explored strategies for designing engaging activities including exploring with Google Earth, using real-world scenarios, connecting with popular media, or making use of campus features on local field trips. In addition, introductory courses can emphasize broad skills such as teaching the process of science, using quantitative reasoning and developing communication skills. Materials from the workshop as well as descriptions of more than 150 introductory courses and 350 introductory-level activities are available on the website: http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/intro/index.html.
Rock, B. N.; Hale, S. R.; Graham, K. J.; Hayden, L.; Barber, L.; Perry, C.; Schloss, J.; Sullivan, E.; Yuan, J.; Abebe, E.; Mitchell, L.; Abrams, E.; Gagnon, M.
Watershed Watch (NSF 0525433) engages early undergraduate students from two-year and four-year colleges in student-driven full inquiry-based instruction in the biogeosciences. Program goals for Watershed Watch are to test if inquiry-rich student-driven projects sufficiently engage undeclared students (or noncommittal STEM majors) to declare a STEM major (or remain with their STEM major). A significant component of this program is an intensive two-week Summer course, in which undeclared freshmen research various aspects of a local watershed. Students develop their own research questions and study design, collect and analyze data, and produce a scientific or an oral poster presentation. The course objectives, curriculum and schedule are presented as a model for dissemination for other institutions and programs seeking to develop inquiry-rich courses designed to attract students into biogeoscience disciplines. Data from self-reported student feedback indicated the most important factors explaining high-levels of student motivation and research excellence in the course are 1) working with committed, energetic, and enthusiastic faculty mentors; and 2) faculty mentors demonstrating high degrees of teamwork and coordination.
Students taught. Introductory Technology through team teaching approach performed ... Vocational education differs in both concept and status in different nations of ... completion of the course, can carry out simple daily maintenance of motor.
Burleson, Kathryn M; Olimpo, Jeffrey T
The sheer amount of terminology and conceptual knowledge required for anatomy and physiology can be overwhelming for students. Educational games are one approach to reinforce such knowledge. In this activity, students worked collaboratively to review anatomy and physiology concepts by creating arrays of descriptive tiles to define a term. Once guessed, students located the structure or process within diagrams of the body. The game challenged students to think about course vocabulary in novel ways and to use their collective knowledge to get their classmates to guess the terms. Comparison of pretest/posttest/delayed posttest data revealed that students achieved statistically significant learning gains for each unit after playing the game, and a survey of student perceptions demonstrated that the game was helpful for learning vocabulary as well as fun to play. The game is easily adaptable for a variety of lower- and upper-division courses. Copyright © 2016 The American Physiological Society.
Ritter, Michael E.
Learning geography online is becoming an option for more students but not without controversy. Issues of faculty resources, logistics, professional recognition, and pedagogical concerns are cited as barriers to teaching online. Offering introductory physical geography online presents special challenges. As a general education course, an…
Barbarick, K. A.; Ippolito, J. A.; Butters, G.; Sorge, G. M.
One of the largest challenges in teaching introductory soil science is explaining the dynamics of soil infiltration. To aid students in understanding the concept and to further engage them in active learning in the soils laboratory course, we developed an exercise using Decagon Mini-Disk Infiltrometers with a tension head (h[subscript o]) of 2 cm.…
English, Thomas C.; Lind, David A.
Discusses the use of an integrated circuit operational amplifier in an introductory electronics laboratory course for undergraduate science majors. The advantages of this approach and the implications for scientific instrumentation are identified. Describes a number of experiments suitable for the undergraduate laboratory. (Author/DF)
The Macroeconomic model (Macromod) is a computer assisted instruction simulation model designed for introductory economics courses. An evaluation of its utilization at a community college indicates that it yielded a 10 percent to 13 percent greater economic comprehension than lecture classes and that it met with high student approval. (DC)
Tinari, Frank D.
Computerized analysis of multiple choice test items is explained. Examples of item analysis applications in the introductory economics course are discussed with respect to three objectives: to evaluate learning; to improve test items; and to help improve classroom instruction. Problems, costs and benefits of the procedures are identified. (JMD)
Muller, Rainer; Wiesner, Hartmut
Presents a new research-based course on quantum mechanics in which the conceptual issues of quantum mechanics are taught at an introductory level. Involves students in the discovery of how quantum phenomena deviate from classical everyday experiences. (Contains 31 references.) (Author/YDS)
Sadr Lahijani M.S
Full Text Available Background: Advocates have proposed that frequent testing increases the effectiveness of instruction by encouraging learners to study and review more often. It has also been argued that in this way, student errors can be identified and corrected earlier and good performance can be recognized, leading to more positive attitudes toward learning process. In problem-based learning (PBL, medical students reportedly take a more active role in learning and have better recall than students in a conventional learning environment. The hypothetical benefits of a PBL and studentbased environment and use of films in the class are the development of self-learning and problem-solving skills and enhancement of knowledge and motivation. Purpose: To examine the effect of combination of PBL method and film showing on the short-term performance of dentistry students and to compare it with lecture-based method and frequent quizzes. Methods: All students of 3 years (from 2000 till 2002 that had theoretical endodontic course (part 1 participated in this descriptive-analytic study. The scores of final examinations of this course were obtained from their files. Data were analyzed by SPSS software & ANOVA. Results: The results showed that by changing the way of learning (PBL and film showing in 2001, there was a statistical difference between scores of the students of 2000 and 2001. Also there was a statistical difference with the students’ scores in 2002- the group with frequent quizzes. Conclusion: The variables such as changing the way of learning, using different methods in teaching, showing scientific films in class or, as a whole, active learning have significant effects on the results of final examination. Key Words: PBL, lecture based method, education, frequent quizzes
Wolfe, Douglas A
This textbook is designed to give an engaging introduction to statistics and the art of data analysis. The unique scope includes, but also goes beyond, classical methodology associated with the normal distribution. What if the normal model is not valid for a particular data set? This cutting-edge approach provides the alternatives. It is an introduction to the world and possibilities of statistics that uses exercises, computer analyses, and simulations throughout the core lessons. These elementary statistical methods are intuitive. Counting and ranking features prominently in the text. Nonparametric methods, for instance, are often based on counts and ranks and are very easy to integrate into an introductory course. The ease of computation with advanced calculators and statistical software, both of which factor into this text, allows important techniques to be introduced earlier in the study of statistics. This book's novel scope also includes measuring symmetry with Walsh averages, finding a nonp...
Yow, Donald M.
Addressing the need for an introductory atmospheric science course for nonscience majors, a course was developed that provides a general understanding of atmospheric processes by examining how meteorological events are portrayed in movies. The course also uses films to study the causes of, impacts associated with, and potential adaptations to…
Incorporating an Interactive Statistics Workshop into an Introductory Biology Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) Enhances Students' Statistical Reasoning and Quantitative Literacy Skills.
Olimpo, Jeffrey T; Pevey, Ryan S; McCabe, Thomas M
Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) provide an avenue for student participation in authentic scientific opportunities. Within the context of such coursework, students are often expected to collect, analyze, and evaluate data obtained from their own investigations. Yet, limited research has been conducted that examines mechanisms for supporting students in these endeavors. In this article, we discuss the development and evaluation of an interactive statistics workshop that was expressly designed to provide students with an open platform for graduate teaching assistant (GTA)-mentored data processing, statistical testing, and synthesis of their own research findings. Mixed methods analyses of pre/post-intervention survey data indicated a statistically significant increase in students' reasoning and quantitative literacy abilities in the domain, as well as enhancement of student self-reported confidence in and knowledge of the application of various statistical metrics to real-world contexts. Collectively, these data reify an important role for scaffolded instruction in statistics in preparing emergent scientists to be data-savvy researchers in a globally expansive STEM workforce.
Incorporating an Interactive Statistics Workshop into an Introductory Biology Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) Enhances Students’ Statistical Reasoning and Quantitative Literacy Skills †
Olimpo, Jeffrey T.; Pevey, Ryan S.; McCabe, Thomas M.
Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) provide an avenue for student participation in authentic scientific opportunities. Within the context of such coursework, students are often expected to collect, analyze, and evaluate data obtained from their own investigations. Yet, limited research has been conducted that examines mechanisms for supporting students in these endeavors. In this article, we discuss the development and evaluation of an interactive statistics workshop that was expressly designed to provide students with an open platform for graduate teaching assistant (GTA)-mentored data processing, statistical testing, and synthesis of their own research findings. Mixed methods analyses of pre/post-intervention survey data indicated a statistically significant increase in students’ reasoning and quantitative literacy abilities in the domain, as well as enhancement of student self-reported confidence in and knowledge of the application of various statistical metrics to real-world contexts. Collectively, these data reify an important role for scaffolded instruction in statistics in preparing emergent scientists to be data-savvy researchers in a globally expansive STEM workforce. PMID:29904549
Pellas, Nikolaos; Peroutseas, Efstratios
Students in secondary education strive hard enough to understand basic programming concepts. With all that is known regarding the benefits of programming, little is the published evidence showing how high school students can learn basic programming concepts following innovative instructional formats correctly with the respect to gain/enhance their computational thinking skills. This distinction has caused lack of their motivation and interest in Computer Science courses. This case study presents the opinions of twenty-eight (n = 28) high school students who participated voluntarily in a 3D-game-like environment created in Second Life. This environment was combined with the 2D programming environment of Scratch4SL for the implementation of programming concepts (i.e. sequence and concurrent programming commands) in a blended instructional format. An instructional framework based on Papert's theory of Constructionism to assist students how to coordinate or manage better the learning material in collaborative practice-based learning activities is also proposed. By conducting a mixed-method research, before and after finishing several learning tasks, students' participation in focus group (qualitative data) and their motivation based on their experiences (quantitative data) are measured. Findings indicated that an instructional design framework based on Constructionism for acquiring or empowering students' social, cognitive, higher order and computational thinking skills is meaningful. Educational implications and recommendations for future research are also discussed.