Download full text
Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1126216
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Abstractor: As Provided
The Importance of a Laboratory Section on Student Learning Outcomes in a University Introductory Earth Science Course
Forcino, Frank L.
Journal of Geoscience Education, v61 n2 p213-221 May 2013
Laboratory sections of university Earth science courses provide hands-on, inquiry-based activities for students in support of lecture and discussion. Here, I compare student conceptual knowledge outcomes of laboratory sections by administering an independent concept inventory at the beginning and end of two courses: one that had a lecture and a laboratory section, and one that had only a lecture. Students in both courses demonstrated a significant increase in inventory scores over the course of the semester. The mean increase in score for the course with a laboratory was 33% greater (43% greater for matched-identification score analysis) than for the lecture-only course. One notable difference between the two courses was that the course without the lab was also a time-shortened course, while the course with a lab spanned a full, traditional-length academic term. Because a great deal of research exists demonstrating that time-shortened, intensive university courses produce the same increase in student concept knowledge as traditional-length courses, the inclusion of the laboratory section most likely led to the greater student learning gains in the full-length course. This study demonstrates the importance of having a laboratory component of an introductory-level, university Earth science course.
Descriptors: Earth Science, Introductory Courses, Science Laboratories, Outcomes of Education, Hands on Science, Inquiry, Active Learning, College Science, Lecture Method, Acceleration (Education), Foreign Countries, Statistical Analysis, Pretests Posttests, College Students
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail: email@example.com; Website: http://nagt-jge.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada