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ERIC Number: ED552503
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 101
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-3361-4
Differential Workload Calculation and Its Impact on Lab Science Instruction at the Community College Level
Boyd, Beth Nichols
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
The calculation of workload for science instructors who teach classes with laboratory components at the community college level is inconsistent. Despite recommendations from the National Research Council (1996) and the large body of evidence which indicates that activity-based instruction produces greater learning gains than passive, lecture-based instruction, many community colleges assign less value to the time spent in science lab than in lecture in workload calculations. This discrepancy is inconsistent with both current state and nation-wide goals of science excellence and the standards set by the American Chemical Society (2009) and the American Association of Physics Teachers (2002). One implication of this differential lab-loading policy is that the science instructors must teach more hours per week to make the same workload as their colleagues in other disciplines which have no formal laboratory activities. Prior to this study, there was no aggregate data regarding the extent of this policy at the community college level nor of its possible impact upon instruction. The input of full-time two-year college members of four different professional science organizations was solicited and from their responses, it is clear that differential loading of lab hours is common and widely variable. A majority of the respondents to this study had their hours in lab assigned less credit than their hours in lecture, with multiple perceived impacts upon lab preparation, assistance, revision, and follow-up activities. In combination with open-ended comments made by study participants, the results suggest that science instructors do perceive impacts upon their ability to teach science labs in a pedagogically current and challenging manner when their hours spent in lab instruction are counted for less than their hours in lecture. It is hoped that the information from this study will be used to implement improvements in the working conditions needed to advance science instruction and student science outcomes at the community college level. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A