Evaluating the effects of a storyline instructional approach on biology student performance and attitudes

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


This study was conducted to determine whether a storyline approach to teaching high school biology had an effect on student performance and attitude toward science in comparison to a traditional approach. Three sections of biology and honors biology classes were exposed to traditional science instruction as a non-treatment unit, which preceded a treatment unit that incorporated a storyline approach by using concepts such as anchoring phenomena, collaborative sense-making using science practices, and whole-group discussions directed towards constructing knowledge. Scores from each unit's pre-and post-tests were compared to determine any significant difference between mean and median values, in addition to an analysis of survey data and focus-group interviews. Results indicated that students performed better on the non-treatment pre/post tests and statistical analysis show that these differences are significant. Results also indicated that students performed worse on the first treatment posttest, yet marginally better on the second treatment posttest compared to the pre-test. Statistical analysis show that these differences are both significant as well. Student attitudes toward learning also increased as a result of this study.




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