Title page for ETD etd-07102012-202739

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Branton, Rebecca
URN etd-07102012-202739
Title The Effects of Teaching Style on Student Learning of DNA
Degree Master of Natural Sciences (M.N.S.)
Department Natural Sciences (Interdepartmental Program)
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Browne, Dana Committee Chair
Moreno, Juana Committee Member
Slezak, Cyrill Committee Member
  • inquiry based learning
  • traditional style learning
Date of Defense 2012-07-03
Availability unrestricted
New methods and practices are constantly being introduced in education due to new research that emerges as a push for student achievement increases. We as teachers must adapt to these new ideas to ensure student success. This study was completed to determine if inquiry-based teaching methods would be more beneficial in learning Biology concepts than traditional lecture instruction. The students were divided into two groups, which differed based solely on their instructional format. The activities involved in this study included inquiry-based activities and traditional activities, i.e. PowerPoints, guided notes, experiments and worksheets. The participants in this study, students in a ninth grade Biology class, were given a pretest to assess prior knowledge of the unit on DNA that would be covered in the classroom lessons. The same assessment was also administered at the completion of the unit to measure leisure gain.

The instructional format of the material given showed an effect on learner outcomes. In general, there was a significant difference in the mean posttest scores. However, further analysis showed this difference was between honors students and academic students. When comparing unit test scores, inquiry studentsí scores were significantly higher than the traditional lecture students. If inquiry activities are executed properly, implementing them into the Biology curriculum can increase learning gains of Biology topics.

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