ERIC Number: EJ1061005
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
Online Preparation Resources Help First Year Students to Benefit from Practical Classes
Whittle, Sue R.; Bickerdike, Sue R.
Journal of Biological Education, v49 n2 p139-149 2015
Practical skills are important for the employability of biosciences graduates; however, first year science undergraduates often struggle to adapt to university practical classes, affecting skills development and decreasing their enthusiasm for laboratory work. This study describes the effects of introducing online multimedia practical support resources on biochemistry and biological sciences on first year student performance, and investigates student usage and student opinion of the value of these resources. In total, 391 students used these resources over a three-period. Information was collated on their completion of preparation tasks and module performance. Student opinion was sought using questionnaires with opportunity for free comment. Engagement with preparation tasks affected student performance in practical modules. Student's t-tests showed a significant difference between the performances of highly engaged, engaged and poorly engaged students, with higher engagement leading to improved performance. Student opinion was sought twice, in 2010-11 and 2012-13. Resources were well used, and students found the resources helpful in understanding the theoretical basis of practical work and how to undertake experiments; they enjoyed practical classes and felt that the preparation resources increased their confidence. Multimedia practical preparation resources are valuable in helping students to manage the transition from school to university practical work in biosciences.
Descriptors: College Freshmen, Electronic Learning, Undergraduate Students, Skill Development, Multimedia Materials, Science Education, Academic Support Services, Task Analysis, Introductory Courses, Transitional Programs, Delivery Systems, Program Effectiveness, Science Course Improvement Projects, Learning Modules, Use Studies, Student Attitudes, Participant Satisfaction, Instructional Materials, Instructional Material Evaluation, Achievement Gains, Achievement Tests, Teaching Methods, Educational Practices, Foreign Countries, Questionnaires
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Leeds)