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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Causal-comparative study analyzing student success in hybrid anatomy and physiology courses
by Levy, Jacqueline Anita, Ed.D., Northern Arizona University, 2013, 186; 3606821
Abstract (Summary)

In the biological sciences, higher student success levels are achieved in traditionally formatted, face-to-face coursework than in hybrid courses. The methodologies used to combine hybrid and in-person elements to the course need to be applied to the biological sciences to emulate the success seen in the traditional courses since the number of hybrid course offerings at community colleges are rapidly increasing.

Research has delineated that creating online collaborative communities and increasing student engagement all function to increase student successful outcomes. This causal-comparative study was conducted using student data from four sections of hybrid, introductory anatomy and physiology courses over the 2011 and 2012 calendar years. The study included two sources of data: unit exam scores and student surveys. Analysis of the unit exam scores determined that there were statistically significant differences in student success and achievement by the implementation of the following web-enhanced technologies: a) discussion boards, b) Breeze, and c) Wiki tools. In the scope of this study, student success and achievement was defined as a student earning a C (70%) or higher at the completion of the course.

There were a total of 29 surveys conducted per each unit during the 2012 semesters that related to the web-enhanced technologies implemented into the course: Discussion boards, Breeze®, and Wiki tools. Demographic data was also compiled on all of the students enrolled in the classes during this study to demonstrate that there is no specified niche or trend seen in the students enrolling for this particular course. Unit 1 was used as a baseline to compare the students from the two years. It was determined that the students were not significantly different in aptitude levels at the beginning of the courses based on their Unit 1 exam scores.

Inferential statistical analysis was done to examine student success and achievement using the following tools: t-test of independent means of the variables, mean, standard deviation, and magnitude of effect. The findings of this study indicate that the web-enhanced technology Wiki tools provided the largest increase in student success and achievement in the hybrid, introductory anatomy and physiology course. Descriptive analysis of the surveys revealed that more than a third of each class felt that the implemented web-enhanced technology functioned to increase collaboration amongst the students and helped to emulate a traditional, face-to-face formatted course.

The study included four recommendations for practice and nine recommendations for further research. A couple of recommendations for practice included using a single web-enhanced technology for the duration of the semester and having instructors and students complete tutorial sessions for the chosen technology being implemented. Examples of recommendations for research include replicating this study at other institutions and comparing face-to-face, traditional classes to hybrid courses within the same STEM discipline.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Delecki, Walter J.
Commitee: Dereshiwsky, Mary I., Ewing, Kris M., Smith, Rachel H.
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 75/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational technology, Science education, Higher education
Keywords: Anatomy, Community college, Hybrid courses, Online collaboration, Physiology, Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, Student success, Web-enhanced technologies
Publication Number: 3606821
ISBN: 978-1-303-64092-6
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