Students' studying and approaches to learning in introductory biology

Debra J Tomanek, Lisa Montplaisir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This exploratory study was conducted in an introductory biology course to determine 1) how students used the large lecture environment to create their own learning tasks during studying and 2) whether meaningful learning resulted from the students' efforts. Academic task research from the K-12 education literature and student approaches to learning research from the postsecondary education literature provided the theoretical framework for the mixed methods study. The subject topic was cell division. Findings showed that students 1) valued lectures to develop what they believed to be their own understanding of the topic; 2) deliberately created and engaged in learning tasks for themselves only in preparation for the unit exam; 3) used course resources, cognitive operations, and study strategies that were compatible with surface and strategic, rather than deep, approaches to learning; 4) successfully demonstrated competence in answering familiar test questions aligned with their surface and strategic approaches to studying and learning; and 5) demonstrated limited meaningful understanding of the significance of cell division processes. Implications for introductory biology education are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-262
Number of pages10
JournalCell Biology Education
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2004

Fingerprint

biology
Learning
Students
Education
learning
student
Cells
Cell Division
education
Research
Mental Competency
resources
literature

Keywords

  • College
  • Introductory biology
  • Learning
  • Performance assessment
  • Studying

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Education

Cite this

Students' studying and approaches to learning in introductory biology. / Tomanek, Debra J; Montplaisir, Lisa.

In: Cell Biology Education, Vol. 3, No. 4, 12.2004, p. 253-262.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{a6dccf7144db4e29ab04928d9da60529,
title = "Students' studying and approaches to learning in introductory biology",
abstract = "This exploratory study was conducted in an introductory biology course to determine 1) how students used the large lecture environment to create their own learning tasks during studying and 2) whether meaningful learning resulted from the students' efforts. Academic task research from the K-12 education literature and student approaches to learning research from the postsecondary education literature provided the theoretical framework for the mixed methods study. The subject topic was cell division. Findings showed that students 1) valued lectures to develop what they believed to be their own understanding of the topic; 2) deliberately created and engaged in learning tasks for themselves only in preparation for the unit exam; 3) used course resources, cognitive operations, and study strategies that were compatible with surface and strategic, rather than deep, approaches to learning; 4) successfully demonstrated competence in answering familiar test questions aligned with their surface and strategic approaches to studying and learning; and 5) demonstrated limited meaningful understanding of the significance of cell division processes. Implications for introductory biology education are discussed.",
keywords = "College, Introductory biology, Learning, Performance assessment, Studying",
author = "Tomanek, {Debra J} and Lisa Montplaisir",
year = "2004",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1187/cbe.04-06-0041",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "3",
pages = "253--262",
journal = "CBE Life Sciences Education",
issn = "1931-7913",
publisher = "American Society for Cell Biology",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Students' studying and approaches to learning in introductory biology

AU - Tomanek, Debra J

AU - Montplaisir, Lisa

PY - 2004/12

Y1 - 2004/12

N2 - This exploratory study was conducted in an introductory biology course to determine 1) how students used the large lecture environment to create their own learning tasks during studying and 2) whether meaningful learning resulted from the students' efforts. Academic task research from the K-12 education literature and student approaches to learning research from the postsecondary education literature provided the theoretical framework for the mixed methods study. The subject topic was cell division. Findings showed that students 1) valued lectures to develop what they believed to be their own understanding of the topic; 2) deliberately created and engaged in learning tasks for themselves only in preparation for the unit exam; 3) used course resources, cognitive operations, and study strategies that were compatible with surface and strategic, rather than deep, approaches to learning; 4) successfully demonstrated competence in answering familiar test questions aligned with their surface and strategic approaches to studying and learning; and 5) demonstrated limited meaningful understanding of the significance of cell division processes. Implications for introductory biology education are discussed.

AB - This exploratory study was conducted in an introductory biology course to determine 1) how students used the large lecture environment to create their own learning tasks during studying and 2) whether meaningful learning resulted from the students' efforts. Academic task research from the K-12 education literature and student approaches to learning research from the postsecondary education literature provided the theoretical framework for the mixed methods study. The subject topic was cell division. Findings showed that students 1) valued lectures to develop what they believed to be their own understanding of the topic; 2) deliberately created and engaged in learning tasks for themselves only in preparation for the unit exam; 3) used course resources, cognitive operations, and study strategies that were compatible with surface and strategic, rather than deep, approaches to learning; 4) successfully demonstrated competence in answering familiar test questions aligned with their surface and strategic approaches to studying and learning; and 5) demonstrated limited meaningful understanding of the significance of cell division processes. Implications for introductory biology education are discussed.

KW - College

KW - Introductory biology

KW - Learning

KW - Performance assessment

KW - Studying

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=15744404498&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=15744404498&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1187/cbe.04-06-0041

DO - 10.1187/cbe.04-06-0041

M3 - Article

C2 - 15592598

AN - SCOPUS:15744404498

VL - 3

SP - 253

EP - 262

JO - CBE Life Sciences Education

JF - CBE Life Sciences Education

SN - 1931-7913

IS - 4

ER -