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Title: Engaging from a distance and on-campus with an introductory biology unit
Contributor(s): Quinn, Frances  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2006
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Abstract: This paper examines the engagement of on- and off-campus students in a topic of study in a first year introductory biology unit. Aspects of engagement considered include the students' perceptions of the subject matter and the teaching, as well as the learning approaches adopted. Information on students' perceptions was derived from focus group interviews and responses to the Course Experience Questionnaire. Students' learning approaches were investigated by individual interview and by students' responses to a version of the Study Process Questionnaire. The learning contexts of both cohorts were characterised by a great deal of content, illustrative practicals and a substantial proportion of assessment by examination. Off-campus students' formal interaction with lecturing staff and other students was limited to a five-day residential school. Many on-campus students found the topic irrelevant and did not engage fully in the practical component, which they saw as boring. The off-campus cohort, which was considerably older, found the topic personally interesting and relevant, and rated the teaching, especially the practicals, more highly than the on-campus cohort. These perceptions related in a theoretically coherent way with students' approaches to learning, with on-campus students reporting more use of surface approaches and less use of deep approaches than their older, off-campus peers. In general, the older, off-campus students found their learning context more engaging, and engaged with it in a more meaningful way, than the on-campus, younger cohort.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Name: FYHE 2006: 9th Pacific Rim First Year in Higher Education Conference - Engaging Students, Gold Coast, Australia, 12th - 14th July, 2006
Conference Details: FYHE 2006: 9th Pacific Rim First Year in Higher Education Conference - Engaging Students, Gold Coast, Australia, 12th - 14th July, 2006
Source of Publication: 9th Pacific Rim First Year in Higher Education Conference Papers (Refereed Papers), p. 1-10
Publisher: First Year in Higher Education (FYHE)
Place of Publication: online
Field of Research (FOR): 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 930201 Pedagogy
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: E1 Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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