Fostering relevance in introductory biology courses : an empirical study of the effects of a socio-scientific issues-based course on student motivation through the lens of self-determination theory Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/pk02cd44k

Descriptions

Attribute NameValues
Creator
Abstract or Summary
  • There has been a rapid increase in technological advances in the biological sciences that has contributed to an increase in societal issues that require attention from both scientists and citizens. Consequently, there is a need for the development of biologically literate citizens who have the ability to use their knowledge and skills related to biological concepts and competencies to make informed decisions in their daily lives. In order to make progress towards this goal, there have been calls for educational approaches that develop citizens who find biology interesting and important, and who can apply biology to their own lives. Socio-Scientific Issues-Based Education (SSI) is a pedagogical approach that contextualizes science content within global and local social issues that intersect with science (e.g., GMOs, human genome sequencing, and local water quality issues). In this study, I utilized the lens of the Self-Determination Theory of motivation to investigate how the contextualization of biology laboratory course activities with scientific and socially relevant issues impacted undergraduate student motivation and student perceptions regarding their ability to apply biological knowledge and skills in their daily lives. Results from the study showed that the SSI approach positively impacted both immediate and long-term student outcomes related to student motivation and the development of biological literacy in comparison to a control group. The four manuscripts I present in this study relate to the design, implementation and research surrounding a new introductory biology laboratory course for science majors. In Chapter 2, I present details on the SSI curriculum that was the focus of all of the studies in this dissertation, and further draw upon data from a GTA questionnaire to investigate perceptions and experiences of GTAs who taught the course. From the qualitative analyses of these data, came recommendations and considerations regarding implementation of SSI curriculum and preparation for GTAs. Specifically, the recommendations included better alignment of new introductory biology curriculum with the Next Generation Science Standards, further inclusion of GTAs in action research studies in order to aid in their development as faculty and scholars, and incorporating considerations for educators when implementing the issues-oriented model. Chapter 2 provides an example of one of the curricular modules aligned with current biology education reform initiatives (AAAS, 2011), and identifies benefits and challenges of implementing SSI curriculum through a post-survey of students after participating in the module activities. The survey assessment shows the promise of the activity in attending to student engagement, interest and valuing of the learning experience that have been shown to be benefits of SSI curriculum. In Chapter 4, I present a study where I investigated the effects of implementing an SSI-based laboratory curriculum on biology student motivation in a large introductory biology course for science majors. Through a hierarchical linear model, I examined the effects of the SSI curriculum relative to the existing curriculum in place as well as its’ effects over the course of the term on biology student motivation. An analysis of the data revealed a significant increase in motivation in the SSI group relative to the control group. In Chapter 5, I advance the field of self-determination theory with a large empirically based study that attended to further developing the relatedness construct, and determine how an SSI course that focused on fostering relevancy by contextualizing introductory biology content with locally and globally relevant socio-scientific issues affected student perceptions of relatedness. Through thematic analysis and quantification of code frequencies to facilitate comparisons between the SSI and the EXT groups, I found similarities in the ways that students perceived their peer and instructor relationships and significant differences between the two groups in the perceptions of the course curriculum as relevant and useful both at the time of the course and one year post. In this dissertation, I present a large, empirical study employing robust theoretical frameworks in order to advance research regarding student motivation related to SSI, and GTA perceptions of the benefits and challenges of implementing SSI curriculum.
Resource Type
Date Available
Date Copyright
Date Issued
Degree Level
Degree Name
Degree Field
Degree Grantor
Commencement Year
Advisor
Committee Member
Non-Academic Affiliation
Keyword
Subject
Rights Statement
Peer Reviewed
Language
Replaces
Additional Information
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2014-09-26T20:21:16Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1232 bytes, checksum: bb87e2fb4674c76d0d2e9ed07fbb9c86 (MD5) HewittKrissiM2014.pdf: 1799282 bytes, checksum: 5f9473363a8f8cac894b5479121ea01a (MD5) Previous issue date: 2014-09-10
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Krissi Hewitt (hewittkr@onid.orst.edu) on 2014-09-24T21:16:20Z No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1232 bytes, checksum: bb87e2fb4674c76d0d2e9ed07fbb9c86 (MD5) HewittKrissiM2014.pdf: 1799282 bytes, checksum: 5f9473363a8f8cac894b5479121ea01a (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Laura Wilson(laura.wilson@oregonstate.edu) on 2014-09-26T20:21:16Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1232 bytes, checksum: bb87e2fb4674c76d0d2e9ed07fbb9c86 (MD5) HewittKrissiM2014.pdf: 1799282 bytes, checksum: 5f9473363a8f8cac894b5479121ea01a (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2014-09-25T18:25:32Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1232 bytes, checksum: bb87e2fb4674c76d0d2e9ed07fbb9c86 (MD5) HewittKrissiM2014.pdf: 1799282 bytes, checksum: 5f9473363a8f8cac894b5479121ea01a (MD5)

Relationships

In Administrative Set:
Last modified: 08/09/2017

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Citations:

EndNote | Zotero | Mendeley

Items