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Abstract Detail

Teaching Section

Davis, Sandra [1].

The effectiveness of the construction of electronic lab notebooks using photomicroscopy capabilities in introductory biology on student learning of biodiversity.

Recently there has been a movement in biology education towards teaching in an inquiry-based framework to improve students understanding of the scientific way of thinking and develop their critical thinking skills. However, one area of biology has lagged behind in this movement: the study of biodiversity. The difficulty of converting the study of organismal biology into an inquiry-based framework has led to the de-emphasis of this important area of biology in many curricula. The traditional presentation of organismal biology in an introductory biology course for majors was enhanced through the introduction of photomicroscopy in the lab so that students were be able to take digital images of the organisms they observed. The culminating project was an electronic lab notebook in which students analyzed their data on similarities and difference among the species in a phylogenetic framework. The electronic lab notebook took the form of a wiki that each lab group created and posted on the online learning management system. Evaluation of the assignment was conducted by comparing two sections of the introductory biology course in the fall of 2010, one that incorporated the electronic lab notebook and the other that was taught in the traditional format. Assessment of student understanding in both sections included periodic lab quizzes and a final lab practical. Scores on the end of the year lab practical were higher by nearly one point in the e-notebook section (means: 35.46 ± 9.66 and 34.19 ± 7.97), however, this difference was non-significant (F=0.61, P=0.771). In response to a survey, 39% of the students felt that the e-notebook assignment made them feel better prepared to take the lab practical.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - University Of Indianapolis, Department Of Biology, 1400 E. HANNA AVE., Indianapolis, IN, 46227, USA

inquiry-based learning
electronic lab notebook.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Battelle South/Convention Center
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: P001
Abstract ID:248

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