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Integrating Inquiry-Based Learning, Student Feedback, and Lecture in a Science Course
Undergraduate science instructors are concerned that the traditional lecture centered approach may not be the most effective. This article describes an effort to integrate alternative teaching methods into a small, upper-division course that had previously been taught as a lecture course, and thus impart a current understanding of biogeography to the students. A course on biogeography with a focus on global climate change and natural resource use was chosen as the forum for a combination of conventional methods and interactive inquiry-based learning methods. Inquiry-based learning was incorporated through an in-class student modeling exercise. Evaluation methods focused on tasks that a student continuing in a scientific career would face, rather than on examinations. Throughout the course, student feedback was used to improve the structure of assignments and the way class time was used. Good student performance and student evaluations indicated successful integration of alternative methods with the traditional lecture.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Graduate / Professional
Type of resource:
  • Text:
    • Journal article
  • Educational theory and practice
Technical requirements:
Adobe Acrobat reader
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
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DLESE Catalog ID: EVAL-TLKT-000-000-000-216
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: The Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education

Author: Jonathan D. Haskett
Department of Geography
University of Maryland