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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Retrospective Survey of College Biology Majors on the Effect of Educational Laboratory Practices and Outdoor Field Experiences on Degree Retention, Interest, and Motivation in Biology
by Leinweber, Chay, M.S., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2018, 87; 10808769
Abstract (Summary)

The goal of this study is to determine where interest in biology is created, reinforced, or diminished in education. The online, Qualtrics created survey was launched on October first, 2017 until October twenty-fifth, 2017 to students enrolled as freshmen in the biology program, undergraduate seniors in the biology program, and graduate students of the biology program. There were 197 participants in all, and they were asked to respond retrospectively to a variety of questions dealing with their background, interest, and motivation in biology. Results from the survey questions were grouped and analyzed based on six research questions of the study and the hypotheses from these were supported, partially supported, or not supported. We determined that: (1) subjects' perceptions of hands-on lab classes, field work, outdoor experiences and research all helped push college students to pursue a college biology degree; (2) subjects did not attribute their decision to study the field of biology to their family members, but did attribute their decision to other significant people in their lives with strong biological experience, degrees, or expertise; (3) subjects did not believe that other content-related, nontraditional experiences such as STEM camps, community service opportunities, and research opportunities had a positive influence on their desire to go into biology or assisted them in learning in the college biology curriculum; (4) subjects believe that college courses with hands-on activities, classes with labs, field work, outdoor labs and undergraduate research will help them to succeed or persist in their college biology degree; (5) subjects believe that biology labs positively influence their self-confidence in biology and help them better perform in science; (6) subjects do not believe the best protocols in laboratories are inquiry-based, as compared to step-by-step methods.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: AbuSharbain, Elaine
Commitee: Jennings, David, Schulz, Kurt
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Biological Sciences
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 57/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Education, Science education, Higher education
Keywords: Cookbook, Inquiry, Interest, Laboratories, Motivation, Outdoor
Publication Number: 10808769
ISBN: 978-0-355-99281-6
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