A survey of student engagement with multiple resources in an undergraduate physiology course: Retrieve or look it up

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Retrieval practice, a deep-learning technique in which the learner attempts to recall a concept of interest from memory, has been shown to be more effective than surface-learning techniques, such as rereading a textbook. Accordingly, textbook publishers are developing supplemental resources that are purported to improve student learning outcomes by encouraging deep learning and critical thinking. The purpose of this study is to 1) survey students in a physiology course about their use of multiple course resources; and 2) assess the effect of self-reported engagement in course resources on learning outcomes, as assessed by comparing course grades. Students who had completed an undergraduate physiology course were sent an online survey about their course experience; two reminders were e-mailed. Students were asked to report their physiology course grade, satisfaction with how much they had learned, which resources they had used, and how they had completed course assignments (critical thinking exercises and online quizzes), i.e., whether they had 1) looked up answers online, 2) looked up answers in the textbook, 3) tried to figure out the answers before using the textbook, or 4) only used their recall. Categories 1 and 2 were considered nonretrieval strategies, and categories 3 and 4 were considered retrieval strategies. There was no association with the type of resource students used and course grade or course satisfaction. Students who practiced retrieval strategies achieved significantly higher course grades than students who did not for both critical thinking exercises and online quizzes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-353
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in Physiology Education
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

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Students
Textbooks
Learning
Exercise
Surveys and Questionnaires
Thinking

Keywords

  • Deep learning
  • Online resources
  • Physiology education
  • Retrieval

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

Cite this

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abstract = "Retrieval practice, a deep-learning technique in which the learner attempts to recall a concept of interest from memory, has been shown to be more effective than surface-learning techniques, such as rereading a textbook. Accordingly, textbook publishers are developing supplemental resources that are purported to improve student learning outcomes by encouraging deep learning and critical thinking. The purpose of this study is to 1) survey students in a physiology course about their use of multiple course resources; and 2) assess the effect of self-reported engagement in course resources on learning outcomes, as assessed by comparing course grades. Students who had completed an undergraduate physiology course were sent an online survey about their course experience; two reminders were e-mailed. Students were asked to report their physiology course grade, satisfaction with how much they had learned, which resources they had used, and how they had completed course assignments (critical thinking exercises and online quizzes), i.e., whether they had 1) looked up answers online, 2) looked up answers in the textbook, 3) tried to figure out the answers before using the textbook, or 4) only used their recall. Categories 1 and 2 were considered nonretrieval strategies, and categories 3 and 4 were considered retrieval strategies. There was no association with the type of resource students used and course grade or course satisfaction. Students who practiced retrieval strategies achieved significantly higher course grades than students who did not for both critical thinking exercises and online quizzes.",
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