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Abstract Detail

Teaching Section

Wandersee, James H. [1], Clary, Renee M. [2].

Learning Outcomes From Requiring and Evaluating Science Textbook Annotation: The Polymath System .

We studied the effects of our Polymath System of science textbook annotation on college biology students' reading habits and their evolving comprehension of assigned science texts. We employed a qualitative, interpretivist research design (Strauss & Corbin, 1990) that involved triangulating data from: (a) thousands of system-conforming textbook annotations; (b) students' post-course feedback comments on the educational value of the system; and (c) instructor notes on text-related classroom conversations and observations. Most student participants (86%) endorsed the Polymath System as being superior to their previous book-based studying approaches. Additionally, endorsees spontaneously emphasized its capabilities to make the reading relevant to them (83%); to sustain their focus across the length of the book (91%); and to integrate text's contents with what they already knew (85%). The Polymath System enhanced both the teaching and learning. The instructor was able to: (a) sample the students' resultant, unique cognitive responses to the textbook's contents; (b) confirm that each student had actually read the book; (c) re-teach any annotation-flagged content areas revealing ambiguous understanding; and (d) evaluate, grade, and reward a student's science-reading-based annotations. Students confided that they had spontaneously begun using the system in other college courses as well--an indicator of perceived learning value.

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1 - Louisiana State University, Dept. of Educational Theory, Policy, & Practice, Ph.D. Studies in Biology Education, 223 Peabody Hall, Baton Rouge, LA, 70803, USA
2 - Mississippi State University, Dept. of Geosciences, 301-B Hilbun Hall, Mississippi State, Mississippi, 39762, USA

Polymath System
textbook annotation
learning outcomes
college biology
reflective practice
reading comprehension.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Session: 36
Location: Superior A/Cliff Lodge - Level C
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: 36009
Abstract ID:86