USG Teaching and Learning Conference: Best Practices for Promoting Engaged Student Learning
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Thursday, April 14 • 8:00am - 8:45am
An Online Database as a Textbook Alternative in Freshman-level Geology and Astronomy

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Dion Stewart, Mary Ann Cullen, Bayard Stringer

Online alternatives to traditional textbooks lower educational costs for students and provide immediate access to the text. However, free, high-quality, online texts are not readily available in most science disciplines. This presentation explores the solution of using readings from a science reference database (AccessScience) to replace all or some of assigned textbook readings in freshman-level geology and astronomy classes.

A quantitative comparison of student performance on exams and quizzes is used to assess the relative learning experience of the database readers compared to the traditional textbook readers. Class surveys were used to determine student satisfaction and self-reported compliance with course reading assignments. A librarian collaborating on the project will join the science instructors to discuss the benefits and challenges of using a database in lieu of a textbook and the issues associated with the possible expansion of this approach into other disciplines.

Thursday April 14, 2016 8:00am - 8:45am EDT
Room L

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