ERIC Number: ED245929
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr-29
Reference Count: 0
An Experimental Test of an Extended Discretion Laboratory Approach for University General Biology.
Leonard, William H.
This investigation tested in a university setting a laboratory teaching approach found to be productive in high school settings. The extended discretion approach (ED) gives the student a task, from two to five brief procedural steps, and a list of resources from which to choose. The student must exercise discretion in the use of available resources to complete the task. General biology students (N=222) using this approach were compared to students (N=247) receiving conventional instruction. The criterion variables were student scores on a multiple-choice laboratory examination, on laboratory reports, and on six quizzes. Results showed significant differences between groups only for the laboratory reports; and these favored the conventional approach. In addition, results obtained for a treatment group by instructor analysis also showed significant differences for the laboratory reports. Since students performed at least as well using a learning method which is more demanding and challenging than by using another method, there is still reason to consider further the more challenging approach. If it can be shown that the ED approach does actually foster independence as well as allow students to learn biology laboratory concepts to at least the degree of a conventional approach, the ED approach may have some merit. (Author/JN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Extended Discretion Approach; Science Education Research
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (57th, New Orleans, LA, April 29, 1984).