NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ947255
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0263-5143
Design of Inquiry-Oriented Science Labs: Impacts on Students' Attitudes
Baseya, J. M.; Francis, C. D.
Research in Science & Technological Education, v29 n3 p241-255 2011
Background: Changes in lab style can lead to differences in learning. Two inquiry-oriented lab styles are guided inquiry (GI) and problem-based (PB). Students' attitudes towards lab are important to consider when choosing between GI and PB styles during curriculum design. Purpose: We examined the degree to which lab experiences are explained by a GI or a PB lab style vs. students' attitudes towards specific aspects of the experience, reflected by perceived excitement (exc), difficulty (dif), time efficiency (eff) and association between lab and lecture material (help). Sample: Approximately 1000 students attending first-semester, college biology lab for science majors at the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA, participated in the study. Design and method: In 2007, two labs were run as GI and one as PB. Formats were switched in 2008. Attitudes were assessed with a post-semester survey. Results: Only the four attitude variables (not lab style) had a strong relationship with overall lab rating which was most strongly related to exc, followed by dif and help/eff. Dif and eff had the greatest influence on attitudes for or against GI vs. PB labs, and help and exc had little influence on a GI vs. a PB lab. Also, when dif was low, students' attitudes were not significantly different between PB and GI labs, but when dif was high, students' significantly rated GI labs higher than PB labs. Conclusions: Students' attitudes towards lab are more dependent on specific aspects of the experience than on lab style. Changes in GI vs. PB lab styles primarily influence dif and eff rather than exc and help. Dif may be an important factor to consider when implementing a lab in the PB vs. the GI format. It might be good to go with a GI when dif is high and a PB when dif is low. (Contains 5 tables and 1 figure.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
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: Colorado