Department

Life Sciences Program

Description

The role of writing, experimental design and animal dissection to improve student understanding of concepts in life science courses are key considerations as labs are developed at the University of Wyoming. Current goals and learning outcomes for undergraduate students include competence in written communication and an understanding of how to design experiments to appropriately test hypotheses. Prior to this study these outcomes had not been formally assessed for animal biology. The role of animal dissection in the Life Sciences curriculum has been investigated in the past, and findings suggest dissection is ineffective for student learning, which is consistent with research presented in education literature. The purpose of this study was to survey students taking animal biology during spring 2014 to learn about their past experiences, attitudes and current understanding and confidence related to writing, experimental design, and animal dissection. Following International Review Board approval, we administered a pre-survey during the first week of labs. Here we present preliminary findings and describe student backgrounds, attitudes, and confidence as it pertains to writing, experimental design, and dissection. Our goal is to use the information collected during this ongoing study to increase student understanding and confidence in animal biology.

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Oral Presentation

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Experience, attitude and confidence of students taking an undergraduate level animal biology course

The role of writing, experimental design and animal dissection to improve student understanding of concepts in life science courses are key considerations as labs are developed at the University of Wyoming. Current goals and learning outcomes for undergraduate students include competence in written communication and an understanding of how to design experiments to appropriately test hypotheses. Prior to this study these outcomes had not been formally assessed for animal biology. The role of animal dissection in the Life Sciences curriculum has been investigated in the past, and findings suggest dissection is ineffective for student learning, which is consistent with research presented in education literature. The purpose of this study was to survey students taking animal biology during spring 2014 to learn about their past experiences, attitudes and current understanding and confidence related to writing, experimental design, and animal dissection. Following International Review Board approval, we administered a pre-survey during the first week of labs. Here we present preliminary findings and describe student backgrounds, attitudes, and confidence as it pertains to writing, experimental design, and dissection. Our goal is to use the information collected during this ongoing study to increase student understanding and confidence in animal biology.