Comparing biology majors from large lecture classes with TA-facilitated laboratories to those from small lecture classes with faculty-facilitated laboratories.Adv Physiol Educ. 2005 Jun; 29(2):112-7.AP
The teaching faculty for this course sought to address their own concerns about the quality of student learning in an impersonal large lecture biology class for majors, the difficulties in getting to know each student by name, and difficulties in soliciting answers and reactions from the students during the lecture. Questions addressed by this study were, Do active-learning activities in a small and personal lecture setting enhance student learning more than active-learning activities in large impersonal lectures? and Are students more satisfied with an educational experience in a small and personal lecture setting? Based on faculty perceptions of how they best relate to their students, the prediction was that the students in the experimental group with small lecture classes and increased direct contact with the teaching faculty would learn physiological principles better than the students in the control group in the large impersonal lecture portion of the course. One of the laboratory sections of this large enrollment biology course was randomly selected to be taught with separate small lectures by the teaching faculty. In addition, the teaching faculty participated in the laboratory with these students during their experiments correlated with the lecture material. The students in both groups were compared by pre- and posttests of physiological principles, final course grades, and class satisfaction surveys.