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ERIC Number: EJ1136405
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Feb
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1527-9316
Does It Matter if Students Have the Same Instructor for Lecture and Lab Sections? An Analysis of Introductory Biology Students
Wise, Michael J.
Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v17 n1 p1-14 Feb 2017
With the goal of increasing the immediacy of the relationship between tenure-track professors and students, science departments in liberal arts colleges may try to arrange their curriculum so that students have the same professor in both the lecture and the lab section of introductory courses. While this goal seems laudable, empirical data are currently lacking to justify the logistical hurdles and professional sacrifices likely required to match professors to students in both lecture and lab sections of large courses. To address this data gap, I analyzed student evaluations and grades from three years of an introductory biology course that included separate lecture and lab sections. There was no evidence that matching a student's lecture and lab instructor had any benefit on either the students' perception of the effectiveness of the labs, or on the students' performance in their lab or lecture sections. In addition, there was no consistent pattern in students' perceptions of the relative effectiveness of tenure-track professors, visiting professors, and adjunct instructors. Finally, I discuss why students may even benefit from having different instructors in their lecture and lab, whether they are tenured professors, visiting professors, or part-time adjuncts.
Indiana University. 755 West Michigan Street UL 1180D, Indianapolis, IN 46202. Tel: 317-274-5647; Fax: 317-278-2360; e-mail:; Web site:
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: Virginia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A