Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Student performance in lower division collegiate general biology programs in selected community colleges and four-year institutions in Oregon Public Deposited

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  • It was the intent of this investigation to compare the performance of community college students to four-year institutional students, both of whom were enrolled in a college general biology program (GS 101, 102, 103) during the 1967-68 academic year. During the week of May 27, 1968 measurements were taken of student performance in the two types of institutions in terms of the following important objectives of biology teaching: critical thinking; knowledge of facts and principles; comprehension; application; and a combination of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. The criterion instruments used to measure these objectives were the Cornell Critical Thinking Test, Form Z, developed by R. Ennis and J. Millman, and a biology test developed by the researcher. The population for this investigation consisted of full-time students enrolled in a general biology course at either of three community colleges or two four-year institutions in Oregon. A total of 261 students were in the community college sample and 465 students were in the four-year institution sample. Findings The findings from this research were based on results of a Gauss-Markoff Setup for Multiple Measurements (analysis of dispersion) statistical design. The effects due to a difference in high school G. P. A. and sex among students in the samples were removed from the mean scores used in the statistical analysis. Resultant F values were tested at the 1 percent level. 1. There was a significant statistical difference among community colleges in terms of the behavioral objectives of knowledge of facts and principles and a combination of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. 2. There was a significant statistical difference among four- year institutions in terms of all behavioral objectives of the biology criterion instrument. It was concluded that one of the major factors causing the difference among the four-year institutions was one additional hour per week spent in a discussion session with a biology instructor at university # 1. 3. Although significant statistical differences existed among community colleges and among four-year institutions, there was still a significant difference between community colleges and four-year institutions in terms of critical thinking ability and the behavioral objective of knowledge of facts and principles of biology. It was concluded that four-year institutional students received a superior educational experience to community college students in terms of the development of critical thinking ability. It was also concluded that a major cause of the significant statistical difference between community colleges and four-year institutions in terms of the behavioral objective of knowledge of facts and principles of biology was an overemphasis on memorization and factual recall by community college instructors.
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