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Appears in:
Page: 4395 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.2092

Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain

PARTICIPATION ACTIVITIES: A TOOL FOR IMPROVING STUDENTS' SELF-RESPONSIBILITY AND ENGAGEMENT IN THEIR LEARNING EXPERIENCE?

E. Chamoux

Bishop's University (CANADA)
Active learning has been shown to increase students' satisfaction, learning outcomes and, overall, to improve grades significantly. Despite these now well established positive outcomes, there is still an important resistance from professors to experiment active learning strategies. Besides the perception that active learning activities are time consuming, an important challenge that professors may experience is to know how to start and what to do. Bishops is a mostly undergraduate university. I've been teaching first and second year biology courses, namely BIO196-Intro to Cell and Molecular Biology and BIO201-Cell Biology, for now more than 5 years. I typically have between 70 and 80 students registered in these mandatory courses, which set the foundations for the 3rd and 4th year advanced courses in various disciplines such as Physiology, Advanced Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Genetics to name a few. Since my courses are taken by all 1st and 2nd year Biology students, I teach to students of various origins, with various levels of background knowledge and who are just out of High-school and away from their family for the first time. Taking responsibility and getting engaged, motivated enough to do their work, is not easy in these conditions. In addition, lots of students simply don't know how to take notes, how to solve problems and some may also face linguistic barriers.

My goal was to develop teaching tools that could address two important points: first helping students to develop learning skills in biology (autonomy, critical thinking, leadership, problem solving); second not impact class time / coverage of material nor my own marking time. I hypothesized that creating optional but rewarding activities would reinforce concepts taught in class and would also increase the feeling of engagement and self-motivation in my students. I created 13 activities for BIO196 (Intro) and 12 activities for BIO201(Cell Bio). I alternated classical lectures, short introductory videos and in-class activities. I ran this experimentation for two consecutive years, so that the students I had in BIO196 last year were in BIO201 this year. All students were invited to read and accept a consent form, and the research protocol was approved by the research ethics board of our institution. Activities were proposed, in link with the matter taught, roughly every week. Students were asked to complete a questionnaire at the end of the semester and several questions at the end of specific activities. We also looked if the completion of some of these activities correlated with good answers in specific exam questions or problems.Preliminary data indicate a high level of completion and a general satisfactory experience with these activities. Most students indicated that activities helped them to feel engaged, to work regularly and to acquire some leadership in their own learning. Academic performance was also strongly correlated with completion of active learning activities and so was understanding of specific concepts that are usually difficult to master (mitosis/meiosis, segregation of alleles, cell cycle, enzyme kinetics...). Overall, with this study, I intend to publish and propose to the community of teachers, a set of short, easy to implement activities that prove efficient for the mastering of core biology concepts, improve the satisfaction of students and help them develop autonomy and leadership in their learning experience.
@InProceedings{CHAMOUX2016PAR,
author = {Chamoux, E.},
title = {PARTICIPATION ACTIVITIES: A TOOL FOR IMPROVING STUDENTS' SELF-RESPONSIBILITY AND ENGAGEMENT IN THEIR LEARNING EXPERIENCE?},
series = {10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-5617-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2016.2092},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2016.2092},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {4395}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Chamoux
TI - PARTICIPATION ACTIVITIES: A TOOL FOR IMPROVING STUDENTS' SELF-RESPONSIBILITY AND ENGAGEMENT IN THEIR LEARNING EXPERIENCE?
SN - 978-84-608-5617-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2016.2092
PY - 2016
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2016
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2016 Proceedings
SP - 4395
EP - 4395
ER -
E. Chamoux (2016) PARTICIPATION ACTIVITIES: A TOOL FOR IMPROVING STUDENTS' SELF-RESPONSIBILITY AND ENGAGEMENT IN THEIR LEARNING EXPERIENCE?, INTED2016 Proceedings, p. 4395.
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