University of North Texas (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN21 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 10595-10601
ISBN: 978-84-09-31267-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2021.2196
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
This is a proposed presentation of the results of a comprehensive literature review about online biology and microbiology course effectiveness compared to traditional biology and microbiology courses conducted by an experienced biology instructor and a coordinator of student support services. As online science course offerings increase, many educators are concerned with the ability of these online courses to deliver an effective course that includes rigorous content, especially in biology. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has created a substantial and rapid increase in online course offerings, without adequate time for preparation for teachers or students. The sudden demand for flexibility in course offerings and increase in the use of technology in the classroom creates a need to evaluate the effectiveness of technology use in online and hybrid courses [1]. This is particularly accurate when evaluating online biology course effectiveness such as in an online microbiology course, which requires complex interaction with live bacterium during experimentation [2]. Preparedness of students in biology, technology usage, and online course experience are all factors of online course effectiveness. Students who had taken a college biology course and/or have received technology training before taking online biology and/or microbiology course are variables that could affect student success in an online course. Proper training and support for teachers in the online environment is a factor in a well-designed course and student success in an online course, such as biology and microbiology. The literature review study consisted of various searches in online journal sources, including OVID and Google Scholar. Multiple studies were identified that contained relevant information to evaluate the effectiveness of student success in an online course, specifically in microbiology courses. Hughes [3] concluded that an online microbiology course as an alternative to a traditional microbiology course is reasonable regardless of slightly lower student performance than students enrolled in traditional course. The research of Biel and Brame [1] and Faulconer and Gruss [4] concluded that a well-designed online or blended course could be as effective as a traditional, on-campus course.

[1] R. B. Biel, and C.J. Brame, “Traditional versus online biology courses: connecting course design and student learning in an online setting,” Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education, vol 17, no.3, pp. 417-422, 2016.
[2] A. E. Adams, S. Randall, and T. Traustadottir, “A tale of two sections: an experiment to compare the effectiveness of a hybrid versus a traditional lecture format in introductory microbiology.,” CBE Life Sciences Education, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 1-8, 2015.
[3] L. Hughes, “Construction and evaluation of an online microbiology course for nonscience majors,” Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 30-37, 2008.
[4] E. K. Faulconer, and A. Gruss, “A Review to weigh the pros and cons of online, remote, and distance science laboratory experiences,” International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 155-168, 2018.
Traditional course, online course, blended course, technology, non-traditional course, traditional student, non-traditional student.