College science students' preferred-actual learning environment in a reform introductory earth science course

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Date

2008-08-14

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Chang, C.Y.
Hsiao, C. H.

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Abstract

This study uses a survey instrument (Earth Science Classroom Learning Environment Instrument, ESCLEI) to conduct a pre- and post-treatment investigation to examine the undergraduate science students' preferred and actual learning environment perceptions in a reform introductory earth science course. The study results show that the science students expect to learn in a learning environment combining teacher-centered and student-centered approaches. However, the Preferred-Actual Spaces (PAS) indicates an expectation incongruence that the instruction did not match with the students' preference on student-centered learning environment in this course. This study finds that prior knowledge is the only factor that affects student learning outcomes in terms of their midterm and final exam scores. It is also noted that students and teachers perceive differently on whether the classroom environment is constructed as student-centered.

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