Neroorkar, Samiksha; McIntyre, Nathaniel; Uzomah, Onyeka; Gundlach, Ellen; and Pelaez, Nancy, "Qualitative Research to Improve Teaching of Experimental, Ethical and Quantitative (TEEQ) Biology" (2011). PIBERG Presentations. Paper 3.
Date of this Version
Qualitative research is very useful in undergraduate biology education. As we are dealing with adult students, we can constructively use their input on how to make improvements to course instructional systems. In a freshman biology course, we implemented a Calibrated Peer Review system to introduce students to the experimental, ethical and quantitative aspects of biology. Students were involved in writing assignments, followed by grading peer work based on criteria, pre-determined by the instructors. At the end of the course, students were interviewed in focus groups to take their feedback on aspects of CPR like benefits, improvements, challenges, relevance to their educational goals and their learning about ethical and quantitative aspects of biology. Upon data analysis, the need for improvements in the qualitative focus group methodology became apparent. To encourage use of qualitative research to improve undergraduate biology education this project shows the need to consider concise, unbiased and probing questions, and trained interviewers. (Funding from NSF CCLI #0837229)