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A Learner-Centered Teaching Approach to Assignment Selection in an Elective Biotechnology Course

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Abstract:

Objective: Evaluation of a learner-centered teaching approach on student workload, stress level and interest in biotechnology course material.

Methods: The learner-centered teaching method developed by Weimer was adapted to an elective biotechnology course. Students were presented with a menu of assignment options at the beginning of the course, distributed over a range of categories (in-class quizzes, homework assignments, position papers on pre-selected topics, and several critique options, including journal articles, popular media articles, and fictional representations of biotechnology). Assigned deadlines and limits on the points available in each category were strictly enforced. To ensure that the assignments were taken seriously, students were required to earn at least half the available points for each assignment to receive any credit. No assignments were required; instead, students were free to choose assignments based on topics that interested them, and were permitted to complete as many assignments as they wished to reach their desired number of course points, which corresponded to final course grades as defined in the syllabus.

Implications: While all students receive the same broad course material during lecture, this method allows significant student control over what topics they will research in more depth for assessment purposes, and what type of assignment they would complete. Students must also utilize time-management skills to decide which assignments to complete based on the deadlines given and their other academic responsibilities. The effect on student workload, stress level, and interest in subject material will be assessed.
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Association:
Name: American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
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http://www.aacp.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p118957_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Nagel, Karen. and Langan, Elizabeth. "A Learner-Centered Teaching Approach to Assignment Selection in an Elective Biotechnology Course" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, San Diego, California, USA, Jul 05, 2006 <Not Available>. 2013-12-16 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p118957_index.html>

APA Citation:

Nagel, K. and Langan, E. , 2006-07-05 "A Learner-Centered Teaching Approach to Assignment Selection in an Elective Biotechnology Course" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, San Diego, California, USA <Not Available>. 2013-12-16 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p118957_index.html

Publication Type: Abstract
Abstract: Objective: Evaluation of a learner-centered teaching approach on student workload, stress level and interest in biotechnology course material.

Methods: The learner-centered teaching method developed by Weimer was adapted to an elective biotechnology course. Students were presented with a menu of assignment options at the beginning of the course, distributed over a range of categories (in-class quizzes, homework assignments, position papers on pre-selected topics, and several critique options, including journal articles, popular media articles, and fictional representations of biotechnology). Assigned deadlines and limits on the points available in each category were strictly enforced. To ensure that the assignments were taken seriously, students were required to earn at least half the available points for each assignment to receive any credit. No assignments were required; instead, students were free to choose assignments based on topics that interested them, and were permitted to complete as many assignments as they wished to reach their desired number of course points, which corresponded to final course grades as defined in the syllabus.

Implications: While all students receive the same broad course material during lecture, this method allows significant student control over what topics they will research in more depth for assessment purposes, and what type of assignment they would complete. Students must also utilize time-management skills to decide which assignments to complete based on the deadlines given and their other academic responsibilities. The effect on student workload, stress level, and interest in subject material will be assessed.

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