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ERIC Number: EJ1186050
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-May
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-1539-2422
Utilizing Quantitative Analyses of Active Learning Assignments to Assess Learning and Retention in a General Biology Course
Dyer, Jamie O.; Elsenpeter, Ryan L.
Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching, v44 n1 p3-12 May 2018
Numerous studies have examined the use of active learning methods in undergraduate courses, suggesting that these methods increase learning and retention as well as student engagement. In order to investigate the benefits of particular active learning assignments involving presentations of 3-dimensional simulations in an introductory biology course for science majors, quantitative analyses of the effects of these assignments on learning and retention as assessed by unit and final exam scores were performed. Same student populations and varying student populations across multiple semesters were compared using t-test analyses, single factor ANOVA analyses, and Pearson correlation coefficients. These statistical analyses determined the simulation assignments as compared to other active learning assignments resulted in no consistent significant increase in learning or retention of material covered by these assignments for same student populations and varying student populations across multiple semesters. Based on these results, the simulation assignments were replaced with other active learning assignments and additional assessment found no significant difference in the learning and retention of course material. The approach described in this study can be used for other assignments in introductory majors' biology courses, as well as other courses to assess the effectiveness of course assignments for student learning and retention.
Association of College and Biology Educators. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri (Kansas City)