Recent reports calling for change in undergraduate biology education have resulted in the redesign of many introductory biology courses. Reports on one common change to course structure, the active-learning environment, have placed an emphasis on student preparation, noting that the positive outcomes of active learning in the classroom depend greatly on how well the student prepares before class. As a possible preparatory resource, we test the efficacy of a learning module developed for the Virtual Cell Animation Collection. This module presents the concepts of meiosis in an interactive, dynamic environment that has previously been shown to facilitate learning in introductory biology students. Participants (n = 534) were enrolled in an introductory biology course and were presented the concepts of meiosis in one of two treatments: the interactive-learning module or a traditional lecture session. Analysis of student achievement shows that students who viewed the learning module as their only means of conceptual presentation scored significantly higher (d = 0.40, p < 0.001) than students who only attended a traditional lecture on the topic. Our results show the animation-based learning module effectively conveyed meiosis conceptual understanding, which suggests that it may facilitate student learning outside the classroom. Moreover, these results have implications for instructors seeking to expand their arsenal of tools for "flipping" undergraduate biology courses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)