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  1. 1.   Methods:

My research Question is whether an “e-Support” tutorial better prepare the students by building their Biology knowledge base necessary to succeed in the above A&P courses. I propose to develop a BlackBoard site with the supplementary instruction.


Some areas where students could use some help are for example- the Cell structure & Function, Metabolism, Enzyme kinetics etc. So the students will be presented with modules of basic concepts of Biology, Biochemistry, cell biology and/or genetics. The concepts presented will include (but may not be limited to)-- 1) What is Science and Biology; 2) Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cell stucture and Function; 4) Elements and chemical reaction; chemical interactions between biomolecules; 5) Cell structure -cell membrane and organelles


  • The online Instruction will include many external links to-

animations, video clips, cartoons, student drawings, Figures (with and without labels), virtual microscope with histology slides and so on.. 

  •  collect data pre-test and post-test. the data will include the grades of exams which would cover above modules. For Pre-test I am planning to use the data of Exam grades so far because the website is not up yet.


  •  Three lecture sections and three lab sections will be selected,
  •  track students during the course of the semester to determine BB site usage. In particular, students that have never used the site will be compared with students that use the site on a regular basis.  We already know from tracking student usage of A&P II Blackboard site, that approximately 75% of the students visit the site at least once during the semester, and approximately 30% of the students visit on a regular basis. Since we know that about 30% of the students will use the supplemental instruction and others will not, we hope to establish in each class a population of students that does and does not use supplemental instruction.


  • Blackboard site can track the student usage of the site. Student grades for lecture and lab exams pertaining to the supplemental material will be correlated with usage to determine if e-support supplementation has any impact on academic success. At the end of the semester a questionnaire determining student usage of the supplementary site and perception of its value will also be included.
  • The Exam grades before the website (e.g. Exam I, Exam II etc.) will be compared with  that after the website. Also  Exam grades of the  classes taught by same instructor  will be compared (before vs. after)- (hopefully consistent teaching style). Also comparison between semesters may be hlpful.


Build a rubric? (taxonomic level)? 

  Spring semester

  Fall Semester
  Professor X--Qn 1-5
    Professor X--Qn 1-5
   Professor Y
    Professor Y--Qn 1-5
   Professor Z
    Professor Z--Qn 1-5


  • active component of interactive cartoons, animations, videos, quizzes, questionare-Ask students to hand in assignments on above modules- at the beginning and at the end of the semester
  • Affective and Cognitive learning tracked by surveys- such as SALG and/or SENCER SALG

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Viewing 5 of 5 comments: view all
I think it will be crutial to not only track BB usage but the usage of individual components within the BB and correlate it with their use of the components.

Ask them to tell you if they found that exercise useful.
Posted 13:50, 18 Jul 2008
What is the significance of finding that usage of supplemental online materials leads to higher test scores? In other words, how does this project connect to other research being done in the science education field?
Posted 13:51, 18 Jul 2008
I asssume that you are going to correlate blackboard usage with grade improvement. However, how are you going to account for differences in grade improvment due to prior knowledge/academic preparation or prior competency? How will you separate the impact of supplemental instruction with differences between highly qualified versus underqualified students coming into your class?
Posted 13:51, 18 Jul 2008
question: does use of BlackBoard help students do better in A&P I and increase retention?
1- definitely mine the blackboard data from A&PII- correlate with grade and instructor.
2- could you organize the blackboard site as to which study aids are more important than others-- list them in priority of use-- you select this.
3- select one or two modules - no more to work on.
4- caution on number of surveys you are giving your students-- survey fatigue
Posted 13:53, 18 Jul 2008
I appreciate the assessment of online tools! It is a growing method of supplying our students with materials.

As I understand it, you have a two-tiered experiment. You are going to compare students who use vs. don't use the Blackboard resources (although I don't think you can use the "don't use" group as a "control", strictly speaking)? They are probably less-motivated students in general and more likely to drop out.

Posted 13:54, 18 Jul 2008
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