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ERIC Number: EJ910886
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-1931-7913
Learner-Centered Inquiry in Undergraduate Biology: Positive Relationships with Long-Term Student Achievement
Derting, Terry L.; Ebert-May, Diane
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v9 n4 p462-472 Win 2010
We determined short- and long-term correlates of a revised introductory biology curriculum on understanding of biology as a process of inquiry and learning of content. In the original curriculum students completed two traditional lecture-based introductory courses. In the revised curriculum students completed two new learner-centered, inquiry-based courses. The new courses differed significantly from those of the original curriculum through emphases on critical thinking, collaborative work, and/or inquiry-based activities. Assessments were administered to compare student understanding of the process of biological science and content knowledge in the two curricula. More seniors who completed the revised curriculum had high-level profiles on the Views About Science Survey for Biology compared with seniors who completed the original curriculum. Also as seniors, students who completed the revised curriculum scored higher on the standardized Biology Field Test. Our results showed that an intense inquiry-based learner-centered learning experience early in the biology curriculum was associated with long-term improvements in learning. We propose that students learned to learn science in the new courses which, in turn, influenced their learning in subsequent courses. Studies that determine causal effects of learner-centered inquiry-based approaches, rather than correlative relationships, are needed to test our proposed explanation. (Contains 3 figures and 4 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 - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A