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ERIC Number: EJ854242
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
Using a "Primer Unit" in an Introductory Biology Course: "A Soft Landing"
Marbach-Ad, Gili; Ribke, Melina; Gershoni, Jonathan M.
Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching, v32 n2 p13-19, 22 May 2006
This study aimed to facilitate students' entrance to an introductory cell biology course for biology majors. The most prominent difficulty in this introductory course, is students' poor background-knowledge, such as a lack of understanding of very basic concepts and terms, and the huge differences in students' background knowledge. In order to bring all the students to a common and adequate level of comprehension and familiarity of basic terms, thus giving a fair chance to all attending the introductory cell biology course, the chief instructor decided to build a "primer unit". The unit provided an overview of the subject matter of the course, and it was placed on the course website before the beginning of the course. The findings show that students who consulted the primer unit came to the course better prepared. The primer helped to reduce the gap between students who studied advanced biology in high school and those who did not. Even though the differences between students who went over the primer and those who did not was not sustained after formal learning, students reported that due to the primer they started the course less intimidated and with a better idea about what to expect. (Contains 3 tables.)
Descriptors: Majors (Students), Introductory Courses, Familiarity, Cytology, Biology, Science Instruction, Prior Learning, Web Sites, Course Descriptions, Units of Study, Vocabulary, High Schools, Undergraduate Study
Association of College and Biology Educators. Web site: http://acube.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A