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ERIC Number: EJ840858
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-1931-7913
Student Perspectives on Curricular Change: Lessons from an Undergraduate Lower-Division Biology Core
Casem, Merri Lynn
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v5 n1 p65-75 Spr 2006
Inquiry-based laboratories are acknowledged as the preferred method of instruction for development of research skills. Much has been written about changes in student performance associated with inquiry, but less is known about how students view the inquiry-based format or whether they perceive a benefit from this type of instruction. The Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) survey was used to evaluate and compare student reactions to the new, inquiry-based laboratories of a lower-division undergraduate curriculum, from implementation to the present (an interval of 3 yr). Initial student response to the format and value of the inquiry labs improved over time. The quality of the graduate teaching assistants and the clarity of the laboratory manual were important variables influencing student perception. A student's perception of his/her retention of lab-related skills was strongly associated with perceptions of gains in those skills. Student responses reflect their most current laboratory experience and not a cumulative effect of participation in the core series of courses. Student success in the inquiry format was not associated with gender or status as a transfer student. The majority of students believe that their experiences in the lower-division inquiry labs have prepared them for upper-division course work. (Contains 7 tables.)
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: California