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The Effects of Biology Lab Delivery Mode on Academic Achievement in College Biology

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... Nevertheless, findings from Ambusaidi, Al-Musawi, Al-Balushi and Al-Balushi (2017) revealed that virtual laboratory do not have any significant improvement on the achievement and attitude of students towards science. In another dimension, Darrah, Humbert, Finstein, Simon and Hopkins (2014), Mcqueen (2017), Pyatt and Sims (2012), and Zacharia and Olympiou (2011) document findings which equate the effectiveness of virtual laboratory to the physical laboratory. ...
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One way of ensuring gender equality in science education is by mainstreaming gender components into the pedagogical delivery of science instruction. Thus, the researchers in this study designed a Gender Responsive Collaborative Learning Strategy (GR-CLS) based on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles. The effectiveness of this instructional paradigm on students’ achievement and attitude was determined in a mixed factorial quasi-experimental research design study conducted in a virtual and hands-on laboratory learning environment. Multistage sampling technique was used to select a total sample of 218 secondary school students from same sex and mixed sex schools. The six hypotheses formulated in the study were tested using Means and Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA). Empirical findings revealed a significant difference in the mean achievement and attitude scores of both male and female students who were exposed to GR-CLS under virtual and hands-on laboratory environment respectively compared to those who were not exposed to GR-CLS. These results indicate that GR-CLS is an effective pedagogical strategy for improving students’ achievement and attitude regardless of gender. Nevertheless, it was discovered that GR-CLS leads to a significant improvement in the achievement of students from same sex schools over mixed sex schools. The study, therefore, recommends the adoption of GR-CLS by science teachers in the planning and implementation of science lessons to create equal opportunities for both male and female students to benefit maximally from learning activities carried out in the laboratory.
... Hart (2018) noted that faculty presence in the lab (as opposed to teaching assistants) and better-structured assignments promoted content knowledge gains, as indicated by final exam scores and final grades. Recently, research on labs' support of content knowledge outcomes has also considered the efficacy of virtual or online labs and measured these outcomes through final grades or content exams (Son et al., 2016;McQueen, 2017). ...
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This paper explores the effect of a paired lab course on students' course outcomes in nonmajors introductory biology at the University of Alaska Anchorage. We compare course completion and final grades for 10,793 students (3736 who simultaneously enrolled in the lab and 7057 who did not). Unconditionally, students who self-select into the lab are more likely to complete the course and to earn a higher grade than students who do not. However, when we condition on observable course, academic, and demographic characteristics, we find much of this difference in student performance outcomes is attributable to selection bias, rather than an effect of the lab itself. The data and discussion challenge the misconception that labs serve as recitations for lecture content, noting that the learning objectives of science labs should be more clearly articulated and assessed independent of lecture course outcomes.
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Miller, Kenneth W., Science Educator The author addresses six myths about inquiry-based online science delivery and offers some strategies to demonstrate effective online science teaching. Introduction With universities , teacher education institutions, and high schools gearing up heavily in online course delivery in every discipline, science educators specifically are asking themselves "How do we provide this access to our students and still maintain our pedagogical integrity in science instruction?" This question seems to be at the heart of a national discussion. The standards in science promote an inquiry-based approach at both the national and state levels, therefore, an arguable difficulty exists in adapting a reticent online inquiry approach that is more consistent with the excitement of an inquiry based faceto4?ace classroom approach. Today's students require coursework when they want it, where it is convenient for them, and how it fits their needs. Many students need online delivery because of distance from the university or their already demanding schedules. Delivering coursework using scientific inquiry techniques can be problematic. This paper discusses six myths about inquiry- based online science delivery. Examples of how to design and promote inquiry that is embedded in the delivery of an online course are provided. Katherine started her degree from Montana State University-Billing by driving three times a week from her home and family over 50 miles away. The worst part was not the slippery roads during the winter or the twohour-a-day commute. The worst was that she often ran behind schedule to pick up her two sons after school in her hometown miles away. David lives over 90 miles away from a community college or university. He helps his wife with their tamale company business which turns out over 600 tamales a week in a hometown kitchen, and he also drives a school bus route and works with the school district's technology department. David has a two-year associate degree from a community college, and he is also a substitute teacher. Programs in teacher education for learning online have given both these students options to fulfill their dreams of becoming teachers that previously were not available to them. The benefits do not stop with the individual. Rural schools in the Northwest are in dire need of elementary and secondary teachers. The state of Montana is a perfect example. Montana is the fourth largest state geographically in the United States, with many of its 900,000 people living in remote areas, hundreds of miles from the nearest four-year institution. Many of those seek to finish their degrees in elementary and secondary education and teach in the schools where they live, but it is emotionally, physically, and geographically impossible to restructure their lives and families to do so. Providing methods of teaching courses online within their regions and offering opportunities to intern in the schools where they weave theory into practice helps these students to earn their bachelors or masters degrees and become certified teachers. Almost every community college and university within the current milieu offers online course offerings, and science teacher educators often find themselves in a quandary. Coursework and scheduling for online delivery increases, and there exists a philosophical struggle between perceived appropriate teaching strategies that promote the national and state science standards and what many believe we are capable of doing in online delivery platforms. Given the plethora of online learning courses at most post secondary institutions, we as science methods instructors find ourselves discussing the issues of sound pedagogical delivery.
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