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ERIC Number: EJ1179306
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jun
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
Exploring Biology: A "Vision and Change" Disciplinary First-Year Seminar Improves Academic Performance in Introductory Biology
Wienhold, Caroline J.; Branchaw, Janet
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v17 n2 Article 22 Jun 2018
The transition to college is challenging for most students, especially those who aspire to major in the science, technology, engineering, or mathematics disciplines, in which introductory courses can be large and instruction less than optimal. This paper describes a novel, disciplinary first-year seminar (FYS) course, Exploring Biology, designed to address many of the challenges facing aspiring biology students beginning their academic careers at a large public research university. The course addresses typical FYS goals, such as community building, introduction to resources, and academic skill development, and introduces students to the core concepts of biology defined in the 2011 "Vision and Change" report. Relative to a matched comparison group of students, Exploring Biology alumni were retained at higher rates and had higher levels of academic performance in a subsequent introductory biology course, suggesting Exploring Biology has a positive impact on future academic performance in the discipline. Results from course evaluations and an alumni survey show that, overall, students valued both the FYS components and biology components of the course. These results provide evidence that the Exploring Biology disciplinary FYS model is an intervention that may increase academic success and retention in biology.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin (Madison)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A