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Abstract Detail

Teaching Section

Cahoon , Aubrey Bruce [1], Bailey, Frank C. [2].

Increasing Student Success in Biology Large Lecture Classes:  Notes From the Field.

This presentation will describe university and department initiatives to increase student success and retention in 100-200 student lecture classes in introductory Biology at Middle Tennessee State University.  MTSU is a mid-sized (25,000+ students) regional, Ph.D. granting institution serving predominately undergraduates (> 23,000).  MTSU’s Provost has created a university-wide plan to improve retention and graduation rates that involves increased evidence-based teaching and learning strategies at MTSU with a focus on STEM disciplines. Currently, MTSU’s STEM retention is <33% after the junior year with six-year graduation rate of <20%. Although student preparation certainly plays a role in these poor statistics, some studies suggest that the didactic lecture may be a poor pedagogy tool and we must find better ways to engage current students in the learning process.  To this end, MTSU’s Department of Biology has been exploring and piloting alternative teaching strategies based on active learning models used primarily in chemistry and physics.  The field of biology lags behind other STEM disciplines in the development and implementation of evidence-based learning strategies in postsecondary learning environments despite a nearly universal desire to improve biology undergraduate education.   There is no shortage of recommendations or active learning strategies designed to maximize student learning, but their efficacy in large-enrollment biology courses is unclear.  During the 2013-2014 academic year, a combination of POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning), Peer-Instruction, and classroom flipping strategies were combined and implemented in sections of introductory biology.  Our goal is to test the efficacy of these active learning strategies in introductory biology.  Explanation of the pedagogical process, execution, and preliminary results will be presented.

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1 - Biology, 1301 E. Main St, Box 60, Murfreesboro, TN, 37132, USA
2 - Middle Tennessee State University, Biology, 1301 E. Main St, Murfreesboro, TN, 37132, USA

active learning
Peer Instruction.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 19
Location: Cottonwoods North/Boise Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 9:15 AM
Number: 19006
Abstract ID:635
Candidate for Awards:None

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