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ERIC Number: EJ1120441
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
Investigating the Role of an Inquiry-Based Biology Lab Course on Student Attitudes and Views toward Science
Jeffery, Erica; Nomme, Kathy; Deane, Thomas; Pollock, Carol; Birol, Gülnur
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v15 n4 Article 61 Dec 2016
Students' academic experiences can influence their conceptualization of science. In contrast experts hold particular beliefs, perceptions, opinions, and attitudes about science that are often absent in first-year undergraduate students. Shifts toward more expert-like attitudes and views have been linked to improved student engagement, critical-thinking ability, conceptual understanding, and academic performance. In this study, we investigate shifts in attitudes and views toward science by students in four biology classes with differences in student enrollment, academic support, and instruction. We observe significant, positive effects of enrollment in a guided-inquiry lab course and academic performance on the percentage of expert-like student attitudes and views at the end of term. We also identify variation in two aspects of student attitudes and views: 1) confidence and interest and 2) understanding and acceptance. In particular, enrollment in the lab course boosts student confidence and interest in scientific inquiry in the short term, even for students with low academic performance or little English-language experience. Our results suggest that low-performing students in particular may require additional opportunities for experiential learning or greater academic support to develop expert-like perceptions of biology as a science.
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A