ERIC Number: EJ1120382
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Options for Online Undergraduate Courses in Biology at American Colleges and Universities
Varty, Alison K.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v15 n4 Article 58 Dec 2016
I aimed to document the online undergraduate course supply in biology to evaluate how well biology educators are serving the diverse and growing population of online students. I documented online biology course offerings in the 2015-2016 academic year at 96 American colleges and universities. I quantified differences in variety, extent, and availability of courses offered by different kinds of academic institutions and characterized 149 online biology courses offered. Although there was no relationship between an institution's enrollment size and any measure of its online biology offerings, I found significantly more online biology course options at 2-year public compared with 4-year public and 4-year private schools. Courses offered for nonmajors, including students pursuing healthcare-related degrees, were three times as common as those intended for biology majors, who were more likely to be offered hybrid courses with face-to-face laboratories. These data indicate some deficiencies in online biology course options; options for students majoring in biology are limited at all types of institutions examined with a minority of 4-year institutions having any online options in biology. Significant investment of institutional resources in faculty training and technological support are necessary to develop online biology courses that will benefit a larger student population.
Descriptors: Online Courses, Biology, Majors (Students), Science Instruction, Science Education, Two Year Colleges, Universities, Nonmajors, Statistical Analysis, Course Descriptions
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.ascb.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A