1887

A Discussion Group Program Enhances the Conceptual Reasoning Skills of Students Enrolled in a Large Lecture-Format Introductory Biology Course

    Author: Marcy A. Peteroy-Kelly1,*
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology and Health Sciences, Pace University, New York, New York 10038
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 17 May 2007
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Biology and Health Sciences, Pace University, 1 Pace Plaza, New York, New York 10038. Phone: (212) 346-1353. E-mail: [email protected].
    • Copyright © 2007, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2007 vol. 8 no. 1 13-21. doi:10.1128/193578807X14285805074512
MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.
  • PDF
    123.66 Kb
  • XML
  • HTML
    60.87 Kb

    Abstract:

    It has been well-established that discussion groups enhance student learning in large lecture courses. The goal of this study was to determine the impact of a discussion group program on the development of conceptual reasoning skills of students enrolled in a large lecture-format introductory biology course. In the discussion group, students worked on problems based on topics discussed in lecture. The program was evaluated using three assessment tools. First, student responses to pre- and posttests were analyzed. The test question asked the students to demonstrate the relationships between 10 different but related terms. Use of a concept map to link the terms indicated an advanced level of conceptual reasoning skills. There was a 13.8% increase in the use of concept maps from pre- to posttest. Second, the students took a Likert-type survey to determine the perceived impact of the program on their conceptual reasoning skills. Many of the students felt that the program helped them understand and use the main course concepts to logically solve problems. Finally, average exam grades increased as the semester progressed. The average final grade in the course was 75%. Students enrolled in the course the previous year (where the lecture component of the course did not assess or reflect student learning in the discussion group) had an average final grade of 69%. The results of this study demonstrate that the discussion group program improves the conceptual reasoning skills of students enrolled in a large lecture-format introductory biology course.

Key Concept Ranking

Proteins
0.91560847
DNA
0.875
RNA
0.75
0.91560847

References & Citations

1. Borden VMH, Burton KL 1999 The impact of class size on student performance in introductory courses: AIR 1999 annual forum paper 21 Association for Institutional Research Tallahassee, Fla
2. Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University 1998 Reinventing undergraduate education: a blueprint for America’s research universities The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching New York, N.Y.
3. Cohen D 1987 The use of concept maps to represent unique thought processes: toward more meaningful learning J. Curriculum and Supervision 2 285 289
4. Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning 1999 How experts differ from novices 19 38 Bransford JD, Brown AL, Cooking RR How people learn: brain, mind, experience, and school National Academy Press Washington, D.C
5. Cooper VMH, Burton LL 2000 The argument for making large classes seem small New Directions for Teaching Learning 2000 81 5 16 10.1002/tl.8101 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tl.8101
6. Denig SJ 2004 Multiple intelligences and learning styles: two complementary dimensions Teachers Coll Rec 106 96 111 10.1111/j.1467-9620.2004.00322.x http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9620.2004.00322.x
7. Dochy F, Segers M, Van den Bossche P, Gijbels D 2003 Effects of problem-based learning: a meta-analysis Learning and Instruction 5 533 568 10.1016/S0959-4752(02)00025-7 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0959-4752(02)00025-7
8. Elliott C 2003 Using a personal response system in economics teaching Int Rev Econ Educ 1 80 86
9. Fostnot CT 1996 Constructivism: theory, perspectives, and practice 228 Teachers College Press New York, N.Y
10. Gosser D, Roth V 1998 The workshop chemistry project: peer-led team learning J Chem Educ 75 185 187 10.1021/ed075p185 http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ed075p185
11. Handelsman J, Ebert-May D, Beichner R, Bruns P, Chang A, DeHaan R, Gentile J, Lauffer S, Stewart J, Tilghman SM, Wood WB 2004 Scientific teaching Science 304 521 522 10.1126/science.1096022 15105480 http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1096022
12. Lyle K, Robinson W 2003 A statistical evaluation: peer-led team learning in an organic chemistry course J Chem Educ 80 132 134 10.1021/ed080p132 http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ed080p132
13. Major CH, Palmer B 2001 Assessing the effectiveness of problem based learning in higher education: lessons from the literature Academic Exchange Quarterly 5 1 4 9
14. McInerney M 2003 Team-based learning enhances long-term retention and critical thinking skills in an undergraduate microbial physiology course Microbiol Educ 4 3 12
15. Menges RJ, Austin AE 2001 Teaching in higher education 1122 1156 Richardson V Handbook of research on teaching American Educational Research Association Washington, D. C
16. National Research Council 2000 Inquiry and the national science education standards National Academy Press Washington, D.C.
17. Novak JD, Canas AJ 2006 The theory underlying concept maps and how to construct them. Technical report IHMC Cmap Tools 2006-01, Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition [Online.] http://cmap.ihmc.us/Publications/ResearchPapers/TheoryUnderlyingConceptMaps.pdf
18. Rebich S, Gautier C 2005 Concept mapping to reveal prior knowledge and conceptual change in a mock summit course on global climate change J Geosci Educ 53 355 365
19. Rios-Velazquez C, Robles-Suarez R, Gonzalez-Negron AJ, Baez-Santos I 2006 The delta cooperative model: a dynamic and innovative team-work activity to develop research skills in microbiology Microbiol Educ 7 20 27
20. Tien LT, Roth V, Kampmeier JA 2002 Implementation of a peer-led team learning instructional approach in an undergraduate organic chemistry course J Res Sci Teaching 39 606 632 10.1002/tea.10038 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tea.10038
21. Udovic D, Morris D, Dickman A, Postlethwait J, Wetherwax P 2002 Workshop biology: demonstrating the effectiveness of active learning in an introductory biology course Biosciences 52 272 281 10.1641/0006-3568(2002)052[0272:WBDTEO]2.0.CO;2 http://dx.doi.org/10.1641/0006-3568(2002)052[0272:WBDTEO]2.0.CO;2
22. Vygotsky LS 1978 Mind in society: the development of higher psychological processes 131 Harvard University Press Cambridge, Mass
23. Zoller U 2000 Teaching tomorrow’s college science teaching courses: are we getting it right? J Coll Sci Teaching 29 409 441

Supplemental Material

No supplementary material available for this content.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/193578807X14285805074512
2007-05-17
2019-08-19

Abstract:

It has been well-established that discussion groups enhance student learning in large lecture courses. The goal of this study was to determine the impact of a discussion group program on the development of conceptual reasoning skills of students enrolled in a large lecture-format introductory biology course. In the discussion group, students worked on problems based on topics discussed in lecture. The program was evaluated using three assessment tools. First, student responses to pre- and posttests were analyzed. The test question asked the students to demonstrate the relationships between 10 different but related terms. Use of a concept map to link the terms indicated an advanced level of conceptual reasoning skills. There was a 13.8% increase in the use of concept maps from pre- to posttest. Second, the students took a Likert-type survey to determine the perceived impact of the program on their conceptual reasoning skills. Many of the students felt that the program helped them understand and use the main course concepts to logically solve problems. Finally, average exam grades increased as the semester progressed. The average final grade in the course was 75%. Students enrolled in the course the previous year (where the lecture component of the course did not assess or reflect student learning in the discussion group) had an average final grade of 69%. The results of this study demonstrate that the discussion group program improves the conceptual reasoning skills of students enrolled in a large lecture-format introductory biology course.

Highlighted Text: Show | Hide
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/deliver/fulltext/jmbe/8/1/jmbe-8-1-13.xml.a.html?itemId=/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/193578807X14285805074512&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah

Figures

Image of FIG. 1

Click to view

FIG. 1

Responses to pre- and posttest questions. Percentage of students that responded to the question on the pretest (black bars) and posttest (white bars) using the different answer categories (listed on the x axis). Actual percentage values are listed above each bar. One hundred fifteen of the fall 2005 Biology 101 students took the pretest while 85 of them took the posttest.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2007 vol. 8 no. 1 13-21. doi:10.1128/193578807X14285805074512
Download as Powerpoint
Image of FIG. 2

Click to view

FIG. 2

Representative examples of student-prepared concept maps in response to the (A and B) pretest question and (C and D) posttest question.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2007 vol. 8 no. 1 13-21. doi:10.1128/193578807X14285805074512
Download as Powerpoint

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Please check the format of the address you have entered.
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error