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ERIC Number: EJ932147
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1527-9316
Improving Student Engagement in a Lower-Division Botany Course
Goldberg, Nisse A.; Ingram, Kathleen W.
Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v11 n2 p76-90 Apr 2011
Active-learning techniques have been advocated as a means to promote student engagement in lower-division biology courses. In this case study, mini-lectures in combination with active-learning activities were evaluated as strategies to promote a culture of learning and participation in a required botany course. These activities were designed to develop critical-thinking skills, i.e. Bloom's synthesis, application, and analysis. Student attitudes toward learning, participation, and class activities were assessed with feedback surveys following each activity, at the beginning with a pre-survey and at the end of the semester with a retrospective survey. Students identified concept maps, problem-solving exercises, and the categorizing grid as helpful to their learning. Based on instructor observations, students were especially engaged in activities that allowed them to demonstrate creativity and resourcefulness. Based on the retrospective survey results, students were more conservative in their perception of personal critical-thinking skills at the end of the semester, which may be a reaction to the challenges in developing critical-thinking skills. The incorporation of mini-lectures with class activities helped to promote student engagement in the classroom and thus, was a positive instructional strategy. (Contains 2 tables and 2 figures.)
Indiana University. 755 West Michigan Street UL 1180D, Indianapolis, IN 46202. Tel: 317-274-5647; Fax: 317-278-2360; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A