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ERIC Number: EJ1202322
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8175
Highly Effective Active Learning in a One-Year Biochemistry Series with Limited Resources
Reich, Norbert; Wang, Yuedong
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v47 n1 p7-15 Jan-Feb 2019
We investigate the effectiveness of an active learning curriculum designed for an upper division Biochemistry series at a large, public research university. The goal was to determine how effective this format was when compared to a parallel conventional course, and to see if the active learning series can be run with limited resources (one instructor, one teaching assistant). The study involved 160 students in the first quarter and 92 students in the second quarter. The active learning curriculum consists of learning goals for each chapter, online quizzes, in-class questions targeting the problematic areas, small group (3-4 students) discussions during class in which students presented their assumptions and arguments in support of their responses to online and in-class questions, and two-stage exams involving the ability to "re-answer" as a group following a discussion). The in-class questions involved the use of a student response system (i > clicker) (multiple choice) and short answer formats. Students in the active learning course and a control, conventional lecture course, took identical midterms and finals for the first, and second quarters. We found that students enrolled in the active learning curriculum had consistently better performance, with statistically significant higher scores on all tests for both quarters. The effect sizes of the improvements are medium to large and are independent of prior GPA and grades in prerequisites. This model curriculum redesign offers promise for improved student learning with less monetary investment than a flipped course model relying on, for example, an extensive collection of instructor-produced videos.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A