ERIC Number: EJ1083169
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Repeating Knowledge Application Practice to Improve Student Performance in a Large, Introductory Science Course
Fujinuma, Ryosuke; Wendling, Laura A.
International Journal of Science Education, v37 n17 p2906-2922 2015
There is a tendency for lecture-based instruction in large introductory science courses to strongly focus on the delivery of discipline-specific technical terminology and fundamental concepts, sometimes to the detriment of opportunities for application of learned knowledge in evidence-based critical-thinking activities. We sought to improve student performance on evidence-based critical-thinking tasks through the implementation of peer learning and problem-based learning tutorial activities. Small-group discussions and associated learning activities were used to facilitate deeper learning through the application of new knowledge. Student performance was assessed using critical-thinking essay assignments and a final course exam, and student satisfaction with tutorial activities was monitored using online surveys. Overall, students expressed satisfaction with the small-group-discussion-based tutorial activities (mean score 7.5/10). Improved critical thinking was evidenced by improved student performance on essay assignments during the semester, as well as a 25% increase in mean student scores on the final course exam compared to previous years. These results demonstrate that repeated knowledge application practice can improve student learning in large introductory-level science courses.
Descriptors: Large Group Instruction, Science Instruction, Student Attitudes, Online Surveys, Lecture Method, Problem Based Learning, Critical Thinking, Teaching Methods, Introductory Courses, Essays, Science Tests, Peer Teaching, Learning Activities, Outcomes of Education, Tutoring, Skill Development, Course Descriptions, Foreign Countries, Educational Experience, Questionnaires
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A