Title: Factors that Influence Learning Gains in Inquiry-Based Laboratory Courses
Url: http://www.ableweb.org/volumes/vol-33/v33reprint.php?ch=42
Author: Lawrence Blumer
Christopher Beck
Author's Address: Morehouse College, Biology, GA
Emory University, Biology, GA
Email Address: lblumer@morehouse.edu, christopher.beck@emory.edu
Description: Inquiry-based learning in laboratory courses is often thought to lead to increased learning gains as compared to traditional approaches. However, previous studies that have examined learning gains in inquiry-based laboratory courses have done so in single courses at single institutions. To achieve a broader perspective on the factors that influence learning gains in inquiry-based laboratory courses, we used a standard pretest/post-test approach with students in laboratory courses from five different colleges and universities in courses ranging from introductory biology to advanced courses for majors. At the end of the course, student confidence and student scientific reasoning skills were strongly influenced by their confidence and scientific reasoning skills at the beginning of the semester, as well as their perception of instructional and assessment practices in the course. Gains in confidence and scientific reasoning were significantly related to positive studentís perceptions of authentic laboratory activities. However, other aspects of instructional and assessment practices that influenced post-test scores differed for student confidence and scientific reasoning. As might be expected, STEM majors and those students who had taken more laboratory courses scored higher on the post-test of scientific reasoning skills, although these two factors did not influence student self-efficacy. Interestingly, gender and racial/ethnicity group did not influence post-test scores. Together, our results suggest that instructional practices can greatly influence learning gains in laboratory courses.
Keywords: learning
assessment
Inquiry-based Collaborative Learning
Topic: Teaching Tools and Techniques
BEN Subject/Discipline Taxonomy: Teaching Tools and Techniques
Learning Resource Type: Laboratory exercise (DCMI Type Vocabulary)
Context: Undergraduate lower division 13-14
Format: pdf
Access Rights: This resource is for ABLE members only.
Rights: http://www.ableweb.org/copyright-policy/
Conference Location & Year: New Mexico State University (2011)
Cumulative Rating: NOT YET RATED
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