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The Climate Experiences of Students in Introductory Biology

    Authors: Ramón S. Barthelemy1,2,*, Gina Hedberg1,2, Anne Greenberg1,3, Timothy McKay1,2
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    Affiliations: 1: University of Michigan, REBUILD Project, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; 2: University of Michigan Department of Physics, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; 3: University of Michigan Program in Biology, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Supplemental materials available at http://jmbe.asm.org
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Auvilankuja 2 as 16, 40740 Jyväskylä, Finland. Phone: 231-578-7885. E-mail: Ramon.s.barthelemy@gmail.com.
    • ©2015 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2015 vol. 16 no. 2 138-147. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.921
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    Abstract:

    Understanding course climate is important for improving students’ experiences and increasing the likelihood of their persistence in STEM fields. This study presents climate survey results from 523 students taking introductory biology at the University of Michigan. Principal component analysis revealed that a student’s climate experience is comprised of five main elements: comfort, school avoidance, relationship to course, academic stress, and discomfort. Of these climate factors, comfort, school avoidance, and relationship to course were significant predictors of course satisfaction, and academic stress was a significant predictor of persistence. The results indicated the importance of a positive climate that is facilitated by the instructor in order to promote a positive student experience. Climate may be an important metric for institutions to track across time and course.

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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.921
2015-12-01
2017-09-20

Abstract:

Understanding course climate is important for improving students’ experiences and increasing the likelihood of their persistence in STEM fields. This study presents climate survey results from 523 students taking introductory biology at the University of Michigan. Principal component analysis revealed that a student’s climate experience is comprised of five main elements: comfort, school avoidance, relationship to course, academic stress, and discomfort. Of these climate factors, comfort, school avoidance, and relationship to course were significant predictors of course satisfaction, and academic stress was a significant predictor of persistence. The results indicated the importance of a positive climate that is facilitated by the instructor in order to promote a positive student experience. Climate may be an important metric for institutions to track across time and course.

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