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Learner differences and learning outcomes in an introductory biochemistry class: Attitude toward images, visual cognitive skills, and learning approach.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23382135     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
The practice of using images in teaching is widespread, and in science education images are used so extensively that some have argued they are now the "main vehicle of communication" (C. Ferreira, A. Arroio Problems Educ. 21st Century 2009, 16, 48-53). Although this phenomenon is especially notable in the field of biochemistry, we know little about the role and importance of images in communicating concepts to students in the classroom. This study reports the development of a scale to assess students' attitude toward biochemical images, particularly their willingness and ability to use the images to support their learning. In addition, because it is argued that images are central in the communication of biochemical concepts, we investigated three "learner differences" which might impact learning outcomes in this kind of classroom environment: attitude toward images, visual cognitive skills, and learning approach. Overall, the students reported a positive attitude toward the images, the majority agreeing that they liked images and considered them useful. However, the participants also reported that verbal explanations were more important than images in helping them to understand the concepts. In keeping with this we found that there was no relationship between learning outcomes and the students' self-reported attitude toward images or visual cognitive skills. In contrast, learning outcomes were significantly correlated with the students' self-reported approach to learning. These findings suggest that images are not necessarily the main vehicle of communication in a biochemistry classroom and that verbal explanations and encouragement of a deep learning approach are important considerations in improving our pedagogical approach. © 2013 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2013.
Authors:
Rachel E Milner
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-2-5
Journal Detail:
Title:  Biochemistry and molecular biology education : a bimonthly publication of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1539-3429     ISO Abbreviation:  Biochem Mol Biol Educ     Publication Date:  2013 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-2-5     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100970605     Medline TA:  Biochem Mol Biol Educ     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Affiliation:
Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. rmilner@ualberta.ca.
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