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ERIC Number: ED521863
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 200
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-3790-2
The Influence of Alternative Pedagogical Methods in Postsecondary Biology Education: How Do Students Experience a Multimedia Case-Study Environment?
Wolter, Bjorn Hugo Karl
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
The purpose of this study was to better understand how an online, multimedia case study method influenced students' motivation, performance, and perceptions of science in collegiate level biology classes. It utilized a mix-methods design including data from pre- and post-test, student surveys, and focus group interviews to answer one primary question, did participation in the affect student performance? Two sub-questions were: (a) did participation affect persistence? and (b) did students believe it to be a good learning experience? One hundred and eight students in 5 classes from 4 campuses in the United States and Puerto Rico participated in this study during spring semester 2009. After receiving instruction on HIV, students took a 6 questions pre-test to measure their initial knowledge of both HIV and lab procedures. Participants then engaged in the Case It! learning environment, where they watched case- studies on HIV, used virtual lab tools, created an online poster of their findings, and role-played as both family members and physicians about their case. A post-test identical to the pre-test was given to students upon completion. Both were then scored using rubrics and analyzed via paired "t"-Tests and ANOVA. The researcher visited all 4 study sites to conduct both the focus group interviews and student surveys. Student surveys were quantified and descriptive statistics generated. Focus group interviews were video recorded, transcribed, and inductively and deductively coded. Student knowledge increased because of participation, and the majority of students said they found the Case It! project to be both a good learning experience (95%) and one that would help with future classes or careers (87%). Based on student interviews, the Case It! project did have a beneficial impact on students' intentions to persist as science majors. Many students noted that the learning environment created an overall context in which they could apply knowledge from multiple classes that allowed students to fit all the pieces of their previous academic instruction together into a single, comprehensive picture--and to place themselves within that picture. Students enjoyed the autonomy and personal connections that using case studies and multimedia content offered, and found the material more engaging and relevant. By involving students in real-world situations, Case It! demonstrated the application and effect of theoretical knowledge and stimulated students' curiosity. Case It! motivates students by making material relevant and personal, thus creating enduring links between students and content which can result in better performance and higher retention rates. It is an effective pedagogical tool that, unlike many other such tools, is "not instructor dependent," and is adaptable to fit various learner types, settings, and levels. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Puerto Rico; United States