Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
James T. Spencer
active learning, forensic science, POGIL
A causal-comparative/quasi experimental study examined the effect of incorporating a hybrid teaching methodology that blended lecture with Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Lessons (POGILs) on the overall academic achievement of a diverse student body in a large lecture setting. Additional considerations included student gender, ethnicity, declared major (STEM or non-STEM), and SAT scores. An evaluation of the effect that these characteristics had on student achievement due to differentiating import placed on the use of POGILs as a learning tool was included. This study used data obtained from a longitudinal examination of eight years of student data from an introductory forensic science survey course offered in a R1 northeastern university.
This study addressed the effectiveness of applying a proscribed active learning methodology, one proposed effective in collegiate education, to a new environment, forensic science. The methodology employed combined fourteen POGILs, created specifically for the chosen course, with didactic lecture during the entire semester of a forensic science survey course. This quasi-experimental design used the manipulation of the independent variable, the use of a hybrid lecture instead of exclusive use of traditional didactic lectures, on the students’ academic achievement on exams given during the course.
Participants in this study (N=1436) were undergraduate students enrolled in the single semester introductory science course. A longitudinal study that incorporated eight years of data was completed, 4 years pre-intervention (2007-2010) and 4 years post-intervention (2011-2014). The forensic science survey course, taught by only one professor during the eight-year period, was a science discipline that had yet to integrate an active learning educational model.
Findings indicate four variables significantly contributed to explaining nearly 28% of the variation seen in the student class averages earned during the eight-year period: the intervention, gender, STEM majors, and SAT scores. On average, the intervention significantly altered exam scores, F (1, 1431) = 43.019, p < 0.000, R2 = 0.029, raising exam averages 3.1%. Within the population, females outperformed their male counterparts by 1.9%, although both genders were significantly affected by the intervention, F (1, 1431) = 13.698, p < 0.000, R2 = 0.009. Students with declared majors in the STEM fields outperformed the non-STEM fields by 5.6%, a strong factor in the model, F (1, 1431) = 91.918, p < 0.000, R2 = 0.060, with both STEM and non-STEM students being positively affected by the intervention. The SAT scores, however, showed the strongest effect, F (1, 1431) = 345.026, p < 0.000, R2 = 0.179, where an increase of 3.1% in the student class averages could be seen for every 100 points earned on the SATs. Further discussions include implications and correlations to recent research and directions for future research.
Meeks, Tyna Lynn, "Assessing the Quantified Impact of a Hybrid POGIL Methodology on Student Averages in a Forensic Science Survey Course" (2015). Dissertations - ALL. 397.