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Title:Redesigning the Learning Objectives for Use of Web-based Learning Modules in Plants, Pathogens, and People (PLPA 200)
Author(s):Eastburn, Darin M.; D'Arcy, Cleora J.; Bruce, Bertram C.
Subject(s):Web-based laboratory
plant pathogens
Web-based learning
Higher Education
Abstract:A study was undertaken to evaluate the use of web-based laboratory activities on student comprehension of the scientific method in Plants, Pathogens, and People (PLPA 200), a general education course that fulfills requirements for advanced composition and natural science. At the beginning of the Fall 2006 and Spring 2007 semesters students in PLPA 200 were given a pre-test to determine their level of competence in describing and applying the scientific method. They were then assigned a series of virtual lab experiments, asked to reflect on those experiments, and given a post-test to ascertain if their competence had improved. Comparing pre- and post-test results, overall student scores on post-tests were significantly higher than their pre-test scores. For individual questions, scores for 10 of the 13 questions were significantly higher on the post-test. Improvement was seen on 6 of 7 questions asking for general descriptions, such as "What is a scientific observation?" Scores improved on 4 of 6 questions that asked for specific information, such as "Write a specific hypothesis for this experiment." Pre- and post-test scores were not found to be associated with the students’ gender or major (science vs. non-science, or agriculture vs. non-agriculture). These findings indicate that students' use of the PPP web site did result in an increase in both their ability to describe the general concepts of the scientific method and their ability to apply that knowledge to specific situations.
Issue Date:2007-08-21
Citation Info:Eastburn, Darin M., D'Arcy, Cleora J., & Bruce, Bertram C. (2007, August 21). Redesigning the learning objectives for use of web-based learning modules in Plants, Pathogens, and People (PLPA 200). Provost's Initiative on Teaching Advancement (PITA): Final report. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Genre:Report (Grant or Annual)
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Sponsor:University of Illinois Provost's Initiative on Teaching Advancement (PITA)
Date Available in IDEALS:2009-08-07

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