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E-Learn 2002 - Online Writing as a Form of Electronic Communication in a Second Year Biology Course

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Barbour, M. K., & Collins, M. (2002, November). Online writing as a form of electronic communication in a second year biology course. Paper presented at the annual World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare and Higher Education, Montreal, QC.

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E-Learn 2002 - Online Writing as a Form of Electronic Communication in a Second Year Biology Course

  1. 1. Online Writing as a Form ofElectronic Communication ina Second Year Biology Course Michael K. Barbour and Michael A.J. Collins mbarbour@nf.sympatico.ca / collinsm@mun.ca Memorial University of Newfoundland St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada A1B 3X9
  2. 2. Michael K. Barbour· Highschool teacher atDiscovery Collegiate· Graduate student inM.Ed. Programme atMemorialMichael Collins· AssociateVice-PresidentAcademic at Memorial· Professorin BiologyDepartment and Faculty ofEducation at Memorial
  3. 3. The Study the second phase of an on-going research project into student use of electronic messaging electronic messaging includes e-mail, messages sent to an electronic listserver, and posts to a web-based discussion forum two different courses were considered over a three year (nine semester) period Bio2040 - Modern Biology & Human Society I (Human Biology) Bio2041 - Modern Biology & Human Society II (Environmental Science) which were offered in on-campus lecture, off-campus correspondence and web-based delivery formats a total of twenty-two times during this phase
  4. 4. Performance by Method of Delivery Wideman and Owston (1999) reported that on the whole students in Internet and in-class courses scored significantly higher than their counterparts in correspondence courses, although no significant difference was found between Internet and in-class students (p. 2) Navarro and Shoemaker (1999) found that students in web-based sections of a course had a higher class average than students in the on-campus lecture sections and that students in the on-campus lecture sections had a higher class average than students in the correspondence sections
  5. 5. Performance by Method of DeliverySemester 2040 OC 2040 Cor 2040 Web 2041 OC 2041 CorW97 77.1% 75.2% 73.1%S97 76.0% 74.8%F97 77.0% 78.7% 75.2%W98 78.2% 83.5%S98 72.2% 82.9%F98 75.7% 84.4%W99 79.5% 73.4% 76.3%S99 74.5% 63.8% 76.6%F99 76.5% 82.4%Average 76.6% 76.0% 72.1% 77.3% 82.4%
  6. 6. Performance by Usage Mean Final ScoreCourse Format Users Non-Users2040 Lecture 77.27% 76.25% (n=130) (n=461)2040 Correspondence 73.98% 75.88% (n=59) (n=602)2040 Web 73.84% 73.73% (n=56) (n=59)2040 Overall 75.69% 75.92%
  7. 7. Performance by Usage Mean Final ScoreCourse Format Users Non-Users2041 Lecture 78.35% 76.96% (n=61) (n=291)2041 Correspondence 81.91% 82.49% (n=56) (n=394)2041 Overall 79.84% 80.14%
  8. 8. Student Performance by Usage  Slovacek (1989) found that there was a positive correlation between students use of e-mail and final course grades (pp. 113-114)
  9. 9. Student ParticipationSemester 2040 OC 2040 Cor 2040 Web 2041 OC 2041 CorW97 20% 5% 67%S97 5% 20%F97 20% 17% 25%W98 13% 15%S98 10% 8%F98 23% 9%W99 5% 63% 21%S99 10% 88% 8%F99 28% 17%
  10. 10. Student Performance by UsageElectronic Messaging Level of Use A B C D F Very frequent 2 1 0 0 0 Frequent 21 3 0 0 1 Infrequent 23 19 6 2 3 None 13 6 5 1 2 Total 42 29 11 3 6
  11. 11. Student Performance by UsageE-mailLevel of Use A B C D FVery frequent 1 0 0 0 0Frequent 1 1 0 0 0Infrequent 19 20 3 1 4None 21 8 8 2 2Total 42 29 11 3 6
  12. 12. Student Performance by UsageWeb ForumLevel of Use A B C D FVery frequent 2 0 0 0 0Frequent 1 2 0 0 0Infrequent 18 10 4 1 2None 21 17 7 2 4Total 42 29 11 3 6
  13. 13. Student Performance by Usage Chickering and Gamson (1987) believed that interaction is a key mechanism in enhancing learning (pp. 3-7) Piirto (1998) found the level of care that university students place into their composing of an electronic mail message was very low (p. 28) Ambron (1987) found that most students mentioned the value of writing in helping them understand the subject (p. 266) Moore (1993) has shown the connection between writing in Biology and higher course scores as others have demonstrated for other subject areas (p. 217) Althaus (1996) speculated that higher levels of motivation or scholastic achievement may also lead some students to participate in electronic messaging more than others (p. 14)
  14. 14. BibliographyAlthaus, S. (1996) Computer-Mediated Communication in the University Classroom: An Experiment with On-Line Discussions. Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, California.Ambron, J. (1987) Writing to Improve Learning in Biology. Journal of College Science Teaching, XVI (4), 263-266.Chickering, A. & Gamson, Z. (1987). Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education. American Association Higher Education Bulletin, March, 3-7.Moore, R. (1993) Does Writing About Science Improve Learning About Science? Journal of College Science Teaching, XXII (4), 212-217.Navarro, P. & Shoemaker, J. (1999). Economics in Cyberspace: A Comparison Study, Irvine, CA: University of California.Piirto, J. (1998) University Student Attitudes Towards E-Mail as Opposed to Written Documents. Computers in the Schools, 14 (3/4), 25-32.Slovacek, S. (1989) Electronic Mail Use and Grades. Western Education Computer Conference, San Francisco, California.Wideman, H. & Owston, R. (1999) Internet-Based Courses at Atkinson College: An Initial Assessment, Toronto, ON: York University.
  15. 15. Other StudiesBarbour, M. & Collins, M. (Accepted for publication) Online Writing as a Form of Electronic Communication in a Second Year Biology Course. Media and Technology for Human Resource Development. New Delhi, India: All India Association for Educational Technology.Barbour, M. & Collins, M. (2001) Online Writing as a Form of Electronic Communication in a Second Year Biology Course. Bits and Bytes: The Evolution of Technology in Education Centre for Advanced Placement Education and Faculty of Education at Memorial University of Newfoundland. <http://www.stemnet.nf.ca:8900/public/bitsandbytes/index.html>Collins, M. & Barbour, M. (2001). Some Characteristics of Student use of Electronic Communications in Second-Year Science Classes. International Conference for the Electronic Business, Science, and Education on the Internet , Scuola Superiore G. Reiss Romoli, LAquila, Italy. (CD-ROM).Collins, M. (2000b). The Importance of Electronic Communications in Successful Web- based Courses. International Conference for the Electronic Business, Science, and Education on the Internet, Scuola Superiore G. Reiss Romoli, LAquila, Italy. (CD- ROM).Collins, M. (2000a). Comparing Web, Correspondence and Lecture Versions of a Second- Year Non-Major Biology Course. British Journal of Educational Technology , 31 (1), 21- 27.Collins, M. (1998). The Use of Email and Electronic Bulletin Boards in College-Level Biology. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching , 17 (1), 75-94.Collins, M. (1995). Using Electronic Bulletin Boards with College Biology Classes. The American Biology Teacher, 57 (5), 188-189.
  16. 16. Future Research Model to assess quality of the content in e-mail messages and posts/contributions to web- based discussion forums?
  17. 17. Online Writing as a Form ofElectronic Communication ina Second Year Biology Course Michael K. Barbour and Michael A.J. Collins mbarbour@nf.sympatico.ca / collinsm@mun.ca Memorial University of Newfoundland St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada A1B 3X9

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