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Abstract Detail

Teaching Section


The Polymath system of textbook annotation:  how useful is it?        .

In 2009, Wandersee and Clary reported on the effects of their Polymath System™ of science textbook annotation on a group of 24 college biology students.  Their conclusions were based primarily on student self-assessment of: 1) their ability to sustain focus on their reading; 2) their perception of making the readings relevant; and 3) their overall evaluation of how it compared to other systems to promote reading.  The authors also recognized four advantages that use of the system provided to instructors.  Here I present quantitative comparisons of annotation scores, class participation, and course grades, along with subjective observations, on the efficacy of text annotations in enhancing student learning in both introductory and advanced courses.    Not surprisingly, the most thorough and insightful  annotations were produced by students who participated regularly in class discussions; they also tended to earn the highest grades.  Other high grade-earners, however, put little or no effort into annotating the text, even though it was a point-earning activity.  If these individuals are excluded from the analysis, there is a positive association between annotation scores and other measures of student learning and, in at least some instances, improvement in annotation scores during the semester also was associated with higher test scores.  

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1 - Emporia State University, Biological Sciences, 1200 Commercial St, Campus box 4050, Emporia, Kansas, 66801, United States

student learning
textbook annotation
Polymath System

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 19
Location: Cottonwoods North/Boise Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: 19001
Abstract ID:96
Candidate for Awards:None

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