STLHE 2001 - Student Use of Electronic Communication in Second Year Biology Courses

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Barbour, M. K., & Collins, M. (2001, June). Student use of electronic communication in second year biology courses. Paper presented at the annual Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education conference, St. John's, NL.

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STLHE 2001 - Student Use of Electronic Communication in Second Year Biology Courses

  1. 1. Student Use of ElectronicCommunication in Second Year Biology Courses
  2. 2. Background• Study of electronic communications bystudents in two second year Biology courses(2040 - Human Biology and 2041 -Environmental Science)• Initial study by Dr. Michael Collins In 1994and 1995• Four year continuation of initial study (tensemesters)
  3. 3. Background• Non-Major Biology courses offered in threedifferent formats:* On-campus lecture (OCL)* Off-campus correspondence (OCC)* Web-based (WB)• Electronic communications considered:*Student contributions*E-mail messages sent to the professor
  4. 4. 1994-95 Study Category 1994 Web forum 1995 E-mail 1995 Web forumCourse Content 14 2 6Course-Related 11 6Discussion 10 110Comments 10 1System-Related 5 4 17Test-Related 26Assignments 3 15 17Other 2 1 3
  5. 5. 1997-2000 StudySemester 2040 On campus 2040 Distance edcation 2040 WWW 2041 On Campus 2041 Distance educationWinter 1997 20% 5% 67%Spring 1997 5% 20%Fall 1997 20% 17% 25%Winter 1998 13% 15%Spring 1998 10% 8%Fall 1998 23% 9%Winter 1999 5% 63% 21%Spring 1999 10% 88% 8%Fall 1999 28% 17%Fall 2000 17% 30%
  6. 6. 1997-2000 Content AnalysisCategory OCL e-mail OCL web forum OCC e-mail WB e-mail WB web forum Total %Discussion 2 22 24 2%Assignments 96 2 69 14 7 188 18%Tests/Exams 150 1 114 44 56 365 34%System Related 12 13 27 2 54 5%Course Content 27 3 23 12 27 92 9%Administrative 99 63 26 17 205 19%Other 37 10 45 10 36 138 13%
  7. 7. 1997-2000 Daily UsageTime OCL e-mail OCL web forum OCC e-mail WB e-mail WB web forum Tota l %12:01am-4:00am 32 9 7 8 56 5%4:01am-8:00am 6 9 7 22 2%8:01am-12:00pm 71 2 56 27 20 176 17%12:01pm-16:00pm 155 4 115 41 47 362 35%16:01pm-20:00pm 111 7 58 33 28 237 23%20:01pm-24:00am 78 5 47 22 25 177 17%
  8. 8. 1997-2000 GradesMean final course grade by course and formatSemester Bio 2040 OC Bio 2040 DE Bio 2040 WWW Bio 2041 OC Bio 2041 DEWinter 1997 77.1 75.2 73.1Spring 1997 76 74.8Fall 1997 77 78.7 75.2Winter 1998 78.2 83.5Spring 1998 72.2 82.9Fall 1998 75.7 84.4Winter 1999 79.5 73.4 76.3Spring 1999 74.5 63.8 76.6Fall 1999 76.5 84.4Fall 2000 75.5 79.1Winter 2001 68.8Average 76.4 76 72.1 74.4 81.8
  9. 9. 1997-2000 Web-based 2040Mean final course grade & use of electronic communication Users Non-usersType Mean Number Mean NumberE-mail 73.6 50 73.17 41Web forum 75.25 40 71.96 51Total 73.8 64 72.41 27
  10. 10. 1997-2000 Web-based 2040Level of use & mean final gradeLevel of use E-mail Web forum TotalVery frequent 80 (n=1) 85 (n=2) 80 (n=4)Frequent 77.5 (n=2) 73.75 (n=4) 71.8 (n=11)Infrequent 73.29 (n=47) 74.85 (n=34) 73.78 (n=49)None 73.17 (n=41) 71.96 (n=51) 72.41 (n=27)
  11. 11. 1997-2000 Web-based 2040Frequency of use & final letter gradeLevel of use A B C D FVery frequent 3 1 0 0 0Frequent 3 3 0 0 1Infrequent 23 19 6 2 3None 13 6 5 1 2Total 42 29 11 3 6
  12. 12. 1997-2000 Web-based 2040Frequency of use of the web forum & final letter gradeLevel 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. ReferencesSelected Bibliography J. Ambron, “Writing to improve learning in Biology,” Journal of College Science Teaching, vol. XVI, no. 4, pp. 263-266, 1987.J. Kurfiss, “Do students really learn from writing?” Writing Across the Curriculum, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 3-4, 1985.R. Moore, “Does writing about science improve learning about science?” Journal of College Science Teaching, vol.XXII, no. 4, pp. 212-217, 1993.P. Nvarro & J. Shoemaker, “Economics in Cyberspace: A comparison study,” University of California - Irvine, 1999.H. Wideman & R. Owston, “Internet-Based Courses at Atkinson College: An initial assessment,” York University,1999.Other ReadingsM. Barbour, “Evaluating Online Discussion Forums: Usenet newsgroups and the class,” The Morning Watch, vol.26, no. 1-2, <http://www.mun.ca/educ/faculty/mwatch/fall98/Barbour.htm>, 1998.M. Collins, “Using electronic bulletin boards with College Biology classes,” The American Biology Teacher, vol. 59,no. 9, pp. 188-189, 1995. , “The use of e-mail and electronic bulletin boards in college-level Biology,” Journal of Computers inMathematics and Science Teaching, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 75-94, 1998. , “Comparing Web, Correspondence and Lecture Versions of a Second-year Non-major Biology Course,”British Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 21-27, 2000. , “The importance of electronic communications in successful Web-based courses,” SSGRR 2000,International Conference on Advances in Infrastructure for Electronic Business, Science and Education on theInternet, SSGRR, L’Aquila, Italy, 2000.

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