Issue: 2016 Volume 54

(1) Evaluation of an Authentic Research-based Curriculum’s Effects on Undergraduate Biology Student Achievement

Brandon S. Diamond
David Posnack Jewish Day School

Abstract

An authentic research-based science curriculum for undergraduate science majors was implemented at a major private university in order to improve student learning and interest in science. Because most involved students majored in life sciences, cumulative GPA, biology GPA, and upper-level biology GPA were used as outcome measures of student achievement. Participation in the program, college admissions test scores, high school GPA, gender, cohort, and major were used as predictors in the multiple linear regression models. The overall model accounted for 44% of the between-student variance. Authentic research was found to improve biology student achievement compared to a control group when introductory coursework was included in the GPA calculation, but not when upper-level biology courses were examined without introductory courses. College admission test scores and high school GPA were found to be significant predictors of student achievement. The advantages of accounting for prior student achievement when evaluating program success are discussed.

Citation

Diamond, B. S. (2016). Evaluation of an authentic research-based curriculum’s effects on undergraduate biology student achievement. Florida Journal of Educational Research54(1), 1-18.

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