Research Interests (300 words)
The overarching goal of my research is to understand the impact of active-learning on student attitudes and learning. In this study I wish to compare the effectiveness of different active-learning tools in my introductory biology classroom.
Freeman et al., (2014) defined this approach as “second-generation research”, a research design that answer questions like, how much of active-learning in enough and for whom? Therefore, using this approach I wish to understand the impact of POGIL based instruction on student-attitudes in my biology classrooms. Here, I will compare student attitudes in three different classrooms: i) lecture based only, ii) with 20-30% POGIL instruction and iii) with 70% POGIL instruction, at a mid-sized community college. An important part of this study will focus on identifying patterns of student resistance, teacher-deficits and correlation between instructor behavior and student performance in biology classrooms. The current body of literature has no publication that has specifically dealt with the effect of POGIL instruction on students enrolled in pre-health/Allied health programs at community colleges. This study will provide new insights about differential use of active-learning and students gains at 2-yr colleges.
Additionally, I wish to explore the role of self-efficacy in student learning. An extensive review by Trujillo and Tanner (2014) highlights the role of affective factors like self-efficacy in student interests’ and motivation. Investigation of self-efficacy can help an educator identify a relationship between students’ belief about themselves and their behavior in classrooms.