Effects of inquiry based laboratory experiments on students' comprehension of biological principles in a university level biology course
O'Sullivan, Margaret Louise (Peggy)
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This study investigated the effects of implementing inquiry based experimentation in the laboratory portion of a first year university level general biology course. Students designed and performed their own experiments on two major biological topics. Data indicated that students acquired more comprehensive knowledge of the biological principles studied when they engaged in their own learning and designed their own experiments. Their report writing skills improved as did their understanding of scientific method. The time spent on the inquiry projects encouraged students to form collaborative work partnerships and work together outside of class time. Students participating in the study showed improved comprehension of the topics studied using inquiry based learning methods when compared to topics studied in the laboratory using traditional non-inquiry based learning methods.