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Learning Problem: Many students are under-prepared for freshman biology courses. They have difficulty using their biology textbook and performing well on exams due to poor reading skills. They also have negative perceptions/attitudes towards biology due to a lack of confidence in their reading ability.


Target: 150 Biology majors in a Freshman Seminar class (focused student success and the transition to college)
Solving this problem impacts student success as measured by:
  • Gains in reading comprehension
  • Changes in Attitudes, Motivation, and Perception
  • Retention in the Major
  • Overall GPA
  • Performance in Introductory Biology
Research QuestionDoes reading annotation improve student performance and attitudes about biology?
  • Select 2-4 topics of = difficulty
  • Divide the class by lab section, and annotate using traditional methods in 3 sections, and digitally on iPad with the other 3 sections, then assess
  • With second topic, flip flop so that each group uses iPad and traditional annotation, then assess
Why is this Interesting?
  • I am interested in Student Success and how students learn!
  • We are piloting our freshman seminar and would like information that what we are doing impacts student learning, motivation, perception, and attitudes (and retention)
  • Understanding the role technology plays in education is of interest to me, the Dept., the college, and the University
Collected data will measure:
  • Gains in reading comprehension (quantitative reading comprehension assessment)
  • Changes in Attitudes, Motivation, and Perception (qualitative survey)
  • Retention in the Major
  • Overall GPA
  • Performance in Introductory Biology (embedded exam questions)
  • Impact of technology on above items (statistical analysis of data)
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103.76 kB20:21, 14 Jul 2011khillActions
Viewing 7 of 7 comments: view all
Some information about comfort with technology might make the surveys easier to interpret
Posted 13:35, 15 Jul 2011
is it possible to only do annotations on some topics and not others? and then compare learning on those topics?
Posted 13:36, 15 Jul 2011
You are putting two variables in at once. Do you want to know that you can successfully get them to do the anotation and see the changes you are predicting before adding in the technology vs. paper versions of doing the anotation.
Posted 13:38, 15 Jul 2011
I think this will be a rich data set - keeping in mind the concerns raised about design.
Posted 13:39, 15 Jul 2011
How about showing that the annotation causes the change you would like to see having them all use the iPads? That way you can show that annotating the reading helps with the content.
Posted 13:41, 15 Jul 2011
Do you think some assessment of previous technology experience would be valuable? I worry that the 'learning curve' for using the annotation software may be frustrating to the students. The GOODREADER app is a great (!) annotation tool for pdfs - check it out.
Posted 14:25, 15 Jul 2011
Hi - I tried to capture the highlights of your talk and your questions/comments...intro bio course, 150 bio majors in a freshman seminar…not well prepared and reading can be a real issue – could use remedial help but that is not available on campus…lack of confidence and perpetuates when they open textbook and have trouble reading…change attitude, motivation and perception, while changing GPA and success in intro bio course…does reading annotation improve student performance and attitudes about biology…topics of equal difficulty, traditional annotation and iPad2 lab – assess knowledge, attitude, motivation and then flip traditional and iPad groups…interested in student learning, piloting freshman seminar for college, get to look at role of technology…what happens if there is no difference between iPad and traditional annotation? Historical data to use for comparisons? Two variables at once? Will the annotation do anything?
Posted 14:26, 15 Jul 2011
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