Title

Enhancing Student Success in Introductory Biology through Cross-Disciplinary Research

Poster Number

21

Lead Author Affiliation

School of Education, Biology

Introduction

Introductory Biology courses are “gateway” courses for many majors, and, as in many colleges and universities, attrition and achievement problems are a barrier to student success and program effectiveness. Class sizes have been steadily rising in elementary, high school, and college classrooms. We aim to study how this impacts student achievement.

Purpose

This project aims to understand and enhance student success by looking at the impact of class size on attrition, achievement, and time on task.

Method

In Spring, 2015, we will compare student success and learning outcomes in two sections of introductory Biology, one with 60 students and the other with 24 students, both employing active learning strategies. We will collect data on the experiences of students who drop and those who complete the course successfully. We will compare achievement scores, attrition rates, and time spent on task during lecture to see how different class sizes yield different results.

Results

Our results have show there are differences between the two classes, as we see test results and time on task records differ between large and small classes. As of this submission, we have not yet concluded our data sampling and cannot, at this time, state any conclusive figures. It is, however, apparent that our small class sample and our large class sample are not equal in both achievement and time on task.

Significance

The significance of this study is to better understand how growing class sizes have an impact on student achievement and attrition rates. Allowing for students to enter a classroom environment that stimulates learning and achievement is essential for success. Class size achievement, attrition, and time on task data, as well as qualitative interview data will allow for our team to take a serious look at how differing classroom sizes impact these important areas. This data can be used to accelerate additional research in universities, as well as primary school settings such as elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Stockton campus, University of the Pacific

Format

Poster Presentation

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Apr 25th, 10:00 AM Apr 25th, 12:00 PM

Enhancing Student Success in Introductory Biology through Cross-Disciplinary Research

DeRosa University Center, Stockton campus, University of the Pacific

Introductory Biology courses are “gateway” courses for many majors, and, as in many colleges and universities, attrition and achievement problems are a barrier to student success and program effectiveness. Class sizes have been steadily rising in elementary, high school, and college classrooms. We aim to study how this impacts student achievement.