Student, teaching assistant, and faculty learning during innovation in an introductory biology course Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/mk61rn008

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  • This study examined the dynamics of student, teaching assistant (TA), and faculty learning in relationship to implementation of a genetic technologies project in a university introductory biology course. Research focused on the types of learning that occurred and the various factors impacting that learning. Study participants included 25 undergraduate non-science majors, five graduate TAs, and two faculty, including the researcher participant. Qualitative methodologies were employed to address the exploratory nature of the research questions, and included a wide variety of data collection techniques. Variables related to learning were identified and categorized to develop a hypothesis of learning in the studied course. Students, TAs, and faculty demonstrated developing diverse and remarkably similar cognitive outcomes, learning strategies, and changes within the affective domain. Differences existed in the temporal displacement of learning, as well as breadth and depth of skills and understandings. Similar internal and external factors also impacted student, TA, and faculty learning. Interactions among the three subject groups were frequent, related to common topics of interest and corrections of curricular inadequacies, and were initiated by members of each group. Emerging categories of data were developed into a hypothesis of learning which incorporated (1) the combination of pre-existing subject and situational conditions with (2) characteristics of innovation, and (3) the resulting learning community. Shifting what was being learned and how it was being taught created opportunities for conflict and uncertainty. Through resolution of these concerns, distinctions between course teachers and learners became blurred. This study suggests that all participants, with their widely varying backgrounds, interests, and abilities, contributed to development of the learning community when both content and instruction were being altered. Factors such as large class size, lectures, and TA teaching appeared to add to the diversity of learning contexts of the course and positively impacted the breadth of overall learning outcomes. This study suggests that an incredible diversity of learning can occur in a small subset of subjects over a brief period of time. This complexity of learning sounds a cautionary note that innovation may not be effectively assessed through the measure of a few discrete aspects of learning.
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  • Pages 112-113, 194-195, 300, 302, 304 and 320: File scanned at 300 ppi (24-bit Color) using Capture Perfect 3.0.82 on a Canon DR-9080C in PDF format. CVista PdfCompressor 3.1 was used for pdf compression and textual OCR. All other pages: File scanned at 300 ppi (Monochrome) using Capture Perfect 3.0.82 on a Canon DR-9080C in PDF format. CVista PdfCompressor 4.0 was used for pdf compression and textual OCR.
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