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written by Adam P. Fagen
Most introductory college science courses in the United States are taught in large lectures with students rarely having the opportunity to think critically about the material being presented nor to participate actively. Further, many classes focus on teaching rather than learning, that is, the transfer of information as opposed to actual student understanding. This thesis focuses on three studies about the assessment and enhancement of learning in undergraduate science courses.

We describe the results of an international survey on the implementation of Peer Instruction (PI), a collaborative learning pedagogy in which lectures are interspersed with short conceptual questions designed to challenge students to think about the material as it is being presented. We present a portrait of the instructors teaching with PI and data on the effectiveness of PI in enhancing student learning in diverse settings. The wide variety of implementations suggests that PI is a highly adaptable strategy. We also provide recommendations for those considering adopting PI in their classes.

Classroom demonstrations are an important aspect of many introductory science courses, but there is little evidence supporting their educational effectiveness. We explore the effect of different modes of presentation on enhancing student learning from demonstrations. Our results show that students who predict the outcome before a demonstration is conducted are better able to recall and explain the scenario posed by that demonstration.

As preliminary work for the creation of a conceptual inventory for introductory biology, we discuss results from a survey of vocabulary familiarity and understanding in an undergraduate genetics course. Students begin introductory classes with significant gaps in their understanding, some of which are retained beyond instruction. Further, they overstate their knowledge, and the degree to which they exhibit overconfidence increases over the period of instruction.
University: Harvard University
Academic Department:  Molecular Biology and Education
Pages 186
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Active Learning
= Peer Instruction
- Instructional Material Design
= Demonstration
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
- Teacher Characteristics
Other Sciences
- Life Sciences
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Graduate/Professional
- Upper Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Thesis/Dissertation
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© 2003 Adam Paul Fagen
Type:
Ph.D.
ISBN Number:
9780496392599
NSF Numbers:
9554870
9980802
Keywords:
Peer Instruction, classroom demonstration, collaborative learning pedagogy
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created August 10, 2012 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
May 28, 2013 by Vince Kuo
Last Update
when Cataloged:
May 1, 2003
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
A. Fagen, Ph.D., Harvard University, 2003, WWW Document, (http://www.mazur.harvard.edu/publications/Pub_405.pdf).
AJP/PRST-PER
A. Fagen, Assessing and Enhancing the Introductory Science Course in Physics and Biology: Peer Instruction, Classroom Demonstrations, and Genetics Vocabulary, Ph.D., Harvard University, 2003, <http://www.mazur.harvard.edu/publications/Pub_405.pdf>.
APA Format
Fagen, A. (2003, May 1). Assessing and Enhancing the Introductory Science Course in Physics and Biology: Peer Instruction, Classroom Demonstrations, and Genetics Vocabulary (Ph.D., Harvard University, 2003). Retrieved November 23, 2014, from http://www.mazur.harvard.edu/publications/Pub_405.pdf
Chicago Format
Fagen, Adam. "Assessing and Enhancing the Introductory Science Course in Physics and Biology: Peer Instruction, Classroom Demonstrations, and Genetics Vocabulary." Ph.D., Harvard University, 2003. http://www.mazur.harvard.edu/publications/Pub_405.pdf (accessed 23 November 2014).
MLA Format
Fagen, Adam. "Assessing and Enhancing the Introductory Science Course in Physics and Biology: Peer Instruction, Classroom Demonstrations, and Genetics Vocabulary." Ph.D.. 1 May 2003. Harvard University, 2003. 23 Nov. 2014 <http://www.mazur.harvard.edu/publications/Pub_405.pdf>.
BibTeX Export Format
@phdthesis{ Author = "Adam Fagen", Title = {Assessing and Enhancing the Introductory Science Course in Physics and Biology: Peer Instruction, Classroom Demonstrations, and Genetics Vocabulary}, School = {Harvard University}, Type = {Ph.D.}, Month = {May}, Year = {2003} }
Refer Export Format

%A Adam Fagen
%T Assessing and Enhancing the Introductory Science Course in Physics and Biology: Peer Instruction, Classroom Demonstrations, and Genetics Vocabulary
%R Ph.D.
%D May 1, 2003
%P 186
%I Harvard University
%U http://www.mazur.harvard.edu/publications/Pub_405.pdf
%O Molecular Biology and Education
%O application/pdf
%O Ph.D.

EndNote Export Format

%0 Thesis
%A Fagen, Adam
%D May 1, 2003
%T Assessing and Enhancing the Introductory Science Course in Physics and Biology: Peer Instruction, Classroom Demonstrations, and Genetics Vocabulary
%B Molecular Biology and Education
%I Harvard University
%P 186
%8 May 1, 2003
%9 Ph.D.
%@ 9780496392599
%U http://www.mazur.harvard.edu/publications/Pub_405.pdf


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