1887

An Activity-Based Format Increased Student Retention in a Community College Microbiology Course

    Author: MARY F. LUX1,*
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Department of Medical Technology, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39406
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Medical Technology, University of Southern Mississippi, Box 5134, Hattiesburg, MS 39406. Phone: (601) 266-4910. E-mail: mary.lux@usm.edu.
    • Copyright © 2002, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2002 vol. 3 no. 1 7-11. doi:10.1128/154288102X14285807745044
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    Abstract:

    Microbiology is offered each semester at the Allied Health Campus of Pearl River Community College. The evening course meets weekly for 16 sessions from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Most students enrolled in the course are in one of the seven associate degree allied health programs on the allied health campus. Among the challenges of teaching a course in this situation is retention of enrolled students. Although the course is required for most of the allied health programs on the campus, many students enrolled, attended class for a few weeks, and withdrew from the course. During the 1998–1999 school year the retention rates for students enrolled in the night microbiology classes for Fall and Spring semesters were 52% and 47%, respectively. The format for the 1998–1999 academic year was a conventional course with 2½ hours of lecture material followed by 2 hours of laboratory. Little or no effort was made to correlate laboratory and lecture topics. The course format for Fall 1999 was modified to (i) provide the laboratory component at the beginning of the time slot, (ii) tailor the lecture topics to relate to the laboratory component each night, and (iii) add an outside reading component. The laboratory served as an introduction to the lecture topic, and the lecture became more significant since it related directly to the laboratory experience. Following this format change the retention rate for the Fall 1999 semester increased to 80%.

Key Concept Ranking

Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing
0.5944211
Environmental Microbiology
0.5743126
Urinary Tract Infections
0.47663084
White Blood Cells
0.41069096
0.5944211

References & Citations

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3. Bailey CA, Kingsbury K, Kulinowski K, Paradis J, Schoonover R2000An integrated lecture-laboratory environment for general chemistryJ Chem Educ7719519910.1021/ed077p195 http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ed077p195
4. Bergquist W1991Laboratory before the lecturePhys Teacher21757610.1119/1.2343222 http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.2343222
5. Hairston R, Herron S, Anderson B2001Comparing the cognitive level of three populations enrolled in a biology courseJ Mississippi Acad Sci4682
6. Klausner R, Alberts B1996Principles and definitions31National science education standardsNational Academy PressWashington, D.C.
7. Odubunmi O, Balogun TA1991The effect of laboratory and lecture teaching methods on cognitive achievement in integrated scienceJ Res Sci Teaching2821322310.1002/tea.3660280303 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tea.3660280303
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9. Pearl River Community College1996Pearl River Community College catalogPearl River Community CollegePoplarville, Miss.
10. Rutherford FJ1990Effective teaching and learning198199American Association for the Advancement of ScienceScience for all Americans: project 2061Oxford University PressNew York, N.Y.
11. Thornton RK, Sokoloff DR1998Assessing student learning of Newton’s laws: the force and motion conceptual evaluation and the evaluation of active learning laboratory and lecture curriculaAm J Phys6633835210.1119/1.18863 http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.18863
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/154288102X14285807745044
2002-05-01
2017-11-18

Abstract:

Microbiology is offered each semester at the Allied Health Campus of Pearl River Community College. The evening course meets weekly for 16 sessions from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Most students enrolled in the course are in one of the seven associate degree allied health programs on the allied health campus. Among the challenges of teaching a course in this situation is retention of enrolled students. Although the course is required for most of the allied health programs on the campus, many students enrolled, attended class for a few weeks, and withdrew from the course. During the 1998–1999 school year the retention rates for students enrolled in the night microbiology classes for Fall and Spring semesters were 52% and 47%, respectively. The format for the 1998–1999 academic year was a conventional course with 2½ hours of lecture material followed by 2 hours of laboratory. Little or no effort was made to correlate laboratory and lecture topics. The course format for Fall 1999 was modified to (i) provide the laboratory component at the beginning of the time slot, (ii) tailor the lecture topics to relate to the laboratory component each night, and (iii) add an outside reading component. The laboratory served as an introduction to the lecture topic, and the lecture became more significant since it related directly to the laboratory experience. Following this format change the retention rate for the Fall 1999 semester increased to 80%.

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