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: lhughes@unt.edu.
    • 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 Z1987Seven principles of good practice in undergraduate educationAAHE Bulletin3937
2. Dewhurst DG, Macleod HA, Norris TAM2000Independent student learning aided by computers: an acceptable alternative to lectures?Comput Educ3522324110.1016/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 TMMarch/April2001Seven principles of effective teaching: a practical lens for evaluating online coursesThe Technology Sourcehttp://technology-source.org/article/seven_principles_of_effective_teaching.
4. Hughes LE2006Improvement of classroom teaching through online course developmentFocus Microbiol Educ12379http://www.microbelibrary.org.
5. Johnson M2002Introductory biology online: assessing outcomes of two student populationsJ Coll Sci Teach31312317
6. Krawiec S, Salter D, Kay EJ2005A “hybrid” bacteriology course: the professor’s design and expectations; the students’ performance and assessmentJ Microbiol Biol Educ6813http://www.microbelibrary.org.
7. Lazarus BD2003Teaching courses online: how much time does it take?J Asynchronous Learning Networks74754
8. McGroarty E, Parker J, Heidemann M, Lim H, Olson M, Long T, Merrill J, Riffell S, Smith J, Batzli J, Kirschtel DSupplementing introductory biology with on-line curriculumBiochem Mol Biol Educ32202621706683
9. Obom KM, Cummings PJ2007Comparison of online and onsite bioinformatics instruction for a fully online bioinformatics master’s programJ Microbiol Biol Educ82227http://www.microbelibrary.org.
10. Ostiguy N, Haffer A2001Assessing differences in instructional methods: uncovering how students learn bestJ Coll Sci Teach30370374
11. Riffell S, Merrill J2005Do hybrid lecture formats influence laboratory performance in large, pre-professional biology courses?J Nat Resour Life Sci Educ3496100
12. Roberts TG, Irani TA, Telg RW, Lundy LK2005The development of an instrument to evaluate distance education courses using student attitudesAm J Dist Educ19516410.1207/s15389286ajde1901_5 http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15389286ajde1901_5
13. Schoenfeld-Tacher R, McConnell S, Graham M2001Do no harm—a comparison of the effects of on-line vs. traditional delivery media on a science courseJ. Sci. Educ. Tech.1025726510.1023/A:1016690600795 http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1016690600795
14. Shea P2007Bridges and barriers to teaching online college courses: a study of experienced online faculty in thirty-six collegesJ Asynchronous Learning Networks1173128
15. Turgeon AJ, Thompson MM2004Comparison of faculty workload in resident and distance environments: the case of a turfgrass management courseJ Nat Resour Life Sci Educ33102105
16. Yokaichiya DK, Galembeck E, Torres BB2004Adapting a biochemistry course to distance educationBiochem Mol Biol Educ32272910.1002/bmb.2004.49403201030721706684 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bmb.2004.494032010307
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v9.92
2008-05-17
2017-11-23

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
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