Meeting Abstract

MOORE.1  Friday, Jan. 7  Evidence-based Teaching in Introductory Biology FREEMAN, Scott; University of Washington

To further evidence-based teaching, it is critical to design courses in a hypothesis-testing framework. Over the past eight years, I have been testing the hypothesis that active-learning exercises can reduce failure rates in introductory biology courses. Most recently, colleagues and I have been implementing what we call highly structured course designs. In contrast to low-structure courses that are based on lecturing and 3-4 exams, highly structured courses help students prepare for exams by doing daily reading quizzes, clicker questions, and in-class group exercises, along with weekly practice exams. I’ll present evidence that highly structured courses can lead to dramatic reductions in overall failure rates. I’ll also discuss the Carnegie Hall hypothesis to explain why highly structured courses might have a disproportionate benefit for disadvantaged students.