1887

Construction and Evaluation of an Online Microbiology Course for Nonscience Majors

    Author: Lee Hughes1,*
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Sciences, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas 76203
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 17 May 2008
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Biological Sciences, University of North Texas, P.O. 305220, Denton, Texas 76203. Phone: (940) 565-4137. Fax: (940) 565-3821. E-mail: [email protected].
    • Copyright © 2008, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2008 vol. 9 no. 1 30-37. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v9.92
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    Abstract:

    The development of web-based technologies provides a new method for course delivery. As with any new technique, evaluation is a necessary tool to determine if the method is consistent with expectations. This study describes the conversion of a nonscience majors’ microbiology lecture course to online delivery and evaluates the hypothesis that the online course can be as effective as the traditional course. Course examination scores are compared between the face-to-face and online sections over a 3-year period. On all but one of the course examinations, no significant difference is found for those students in these two distinctly different course types. The success rate, as defined by those students earning grades of C or better, is high for both course types, although the traditional course success rate is slightly higher. Student evaluations of the courses are also positive, though some differences are noted. Overall, student performance in the online course is equivalent to that in the traditional course.

Key Concept Ranking

Microbial Ecology
0.7191034
Food Microbiology
0.7117656
Bacterial Diseases
0.54823303
Bacterial Growth
0.514599
Bacterial Metabolism
0.5026316
Food Safety
0.44444448
Biochemical Test
0.42065474
0.7191034

References & Citations

1. Chickering A, Gamson Z 1987 Seven principles of good practice in undergraduate education AAHE Bulletin 39 3 7
2. Dewhurst DG, Macleod HA, Norris TAM 2000 Independent student learning aided by computers: an acceptable alternative to lectures? Comput Educ 35 223 241 10.1016/S0360-1315(00)00033-6 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0360-1315(00)00033-6
3. Graham C, Cagiltay K, Lim B-R, Craner J, Duffy TM March/April 2001 Seven principles of effective teaching: a practical lens for evaluating online courses The Technology Source http://technology-source.org/article/seven_principles_of_effective_teaching.
4. Hughes LE 2006 Improvement of classroom teaching through online course development Focus Microbiol Educ 12 3 7 9 http://www.microbelibrary.org.
5. Johnson M 2002 Introductory biology online: assessing outcomes of two student populations J Coll Sci Teach 31 312 317
6. Krawiec S, Salter D, Kay EJ 2005 A “hybrid” bacteriology course: the professor’s design and expectations; the students’ performance and assessment J Microbiol Biol Educ 6 8 13 http://www.microbelibrary.org.
7. Lazarus BD 2003 Teaching courses online: how much time does it take? J Asynchronous Learning Networks 7 47 54
8. McGroarty E, Parker J, Heidemann M, Lim H, Olson M, Long T, Merrill J, Riffell S, Smith J, Batzli J, Kirschtel D Supplementing introductory biology with on-line curriculum Biochem Mol Biol Educ 32 20 26 21706683
9. Obom KM, Cummings PJ 2007 Comparison of online and onsite bioinformatics instruction for a fully online bioinformatics master’s program J Microbiol Biol Educ 8 22 27 http://www.microbelibrary.org.
10. Ostiguy N, Haffer A 2001 Assessing differences in instructional methods: uncovering how students learn best J Coll Sci Teach 30 370 374
11. Riffell S, Merrill J 2005 Do hybrid lecture formats influence laboratory performance in large, pre-professional biology courses? J Nat Resour Life Sci Educ 34 96 100
12. Roberts TG, Irani TA, Telg RW, Lundy LK 2005 The development of an instrument to evaluate distance education courses using student attitudes Am J Dist Educ 19 51 64 10.1207/s15389286ajde1901_5 http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15389286ajde1901_5
13. Schoenfeld-Tacher R, McConnell S, Graham M 2001 Do no harm—a comparison of the effects of on-line vs. traditional delivery media on a science course J. Sci. Educ. Tech. 10 257 265 10.1023/A:1016690600795 http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1016690600795
14. Shea P 2007 Bridges and barriers to teaching online college courses: a study of experienced online faculty in thirty-six colleges J Asynchronous Learning Networks 11 73 128
15. Turgeon AJ, Thompson MM 2004 Comparison of faculty workload in resident and distance environments: the case of a turfgrass management course J Nat Resour Life Sci Educ 33 102 105
16. Yokaichiya DK, Galembeck E, Torres BB 2004 Adapting a biochemistry course to distance education Biochem Mol Biol Educ 32 27 29 10.1002/bmb.2004.494032010307 21706684 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bmb.2004.494032010307

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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v9.92
2008-05-17
2019-07-22

Abstract:

The development of web-based technologies provides a new method for course delivery. As with any new technique, evaluation is a necessary tool to determine if the method is consistent with expectations. This study describes the conversion of a nonscience majors’ microbiology lecture course to online delivery and evaluates the hypothesis that the online course can be as effective as the traditional course. Course examination scores are compared between the face-to-face and online sections over a 3-year period. On all but one of the course examinations, no significant difference is found for those students in these two distinctly different course types. The success rate, as defined by those students earning grades of C or better, is high for both course types, although the traditional course success rate is slightly higher. Student evaluations of the courses are also positive, though some differences are noted. Overall, student performance in the online course is equivalent to that in the traditional course.

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Figures

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FIG. 1

Example of a Flash interactive. This cell structure self-test allows students to practice matching the name with the organelle in this cartoon of a eukaryotic cell. In this drag-and-drop interactive, students drag the correct name to the lines indicating the organelle.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2008 vol. 9 no. 1 30-37. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v9.92
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Image of FIG. 2

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FIG. 2

Comparison of the distribution of letter grades between traditional and online sections.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2008 vol. 9 no. 1 30-37. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v9.92
Download as Powerpoint

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