ERIC Number: EJ1136634
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
Research and Teaching: From Gatekeeper to Gateway: Improving Student Success in an Introductory Biology Course
Scott, Amy N.; McNair, Delores E.; Lucas, Jonathan C.; Land, Kirkwood M.
Journal of College Science Teaching, v46 n4 p93-99 Mar 2017
Introductory science, math, and engineering courses often have problems related to student engagement, achievement, and course completion. To begin examining these issues in greater depth, this pilot study compared student engagement, achievement, and course completion in a small and large section of an introductory biology class. Results based on t-tests indicate that students in the small section of the course were more engaged and had higher achievement scores than students in the large section. Additionally, students in the small section were more likely to complete the course than students in the large section. Although further research is needed, reduced class size has the potential to be an effective strategy for improving student engagement, achievement, and course completion in an introductory biology course that has too often been a gatekeeper instead of a gateway for students who intend to be science, technology, engineering, and math majors.
Descriptors: Introductory Courses, Biology, Control Groups, Experimental Groups, Academic Achievement, Learner Engagement, STEM Education, Science Instruction, Pilot Projects, Class Size, Teaching Methods, Higher Education, Quasiexperimental Design, College Science, College Freshmen, Classroom Observation Techniques
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California