The Invertebrate Zoology Review Modules (referred to as InvertZoo Modules) were developed in 1997 under the direction of Dr. Denis Lynn. Students accessed the InvertZoo Modules via the Internet, using the web browser: Netscape. Students required the shockwave plug-in from the Macromedia website in order to run the modules. Following constructive and encouraging feedback from students and colleagues, the InvertZoo Modules were revised and reintroduced online in 1998.
The InvertZoo Modules are comprised of:
Taxonomic Hierarchy of Invertebrate Taxa.
Selected specimens for each taxonomic group (referred to in the Invertebrate Zoology laboratory manual) are displayed with drag & drop label interactions. This allows one to drag the label (portraying a morphological feature) to the appropriate label line.
Quiz (to test ones knowledge of invertebrate morphological features).
Following an erosion of the web-based multimedia platform over the years, the question of whether the InvertZoo Modules would be more useful to students in a CD format arose. A more important question was addressed: "Is it worthwhile to prepare a CD format for students?" in other words "Are the InvertZoo Modules effective as a teaching aid?"
See: Multimedia Development: From Ecstasy to Agony
A pilot study [Sept. to Dec. 2002] was undertaken by myself in collaboration with Mr. Greg Humphreys in order to address the question: "Are the InvertZoo Modules effective as a teaching aid?"
Twenty-Five students were randomly selected to participate in this pilot study. These students were contacted by email correspondence, followed by a letter, explaining the nature of the study. Twenty five CDs were prepared with the PC version of the InvertZoo Modules, one student requested the Mac version of the InvertZoo Modules (which was subsequently prepared). Twenty-five students were randomly selected from the class list and placed as the control group (with no access to the InvertZoo CD).
Although it was suggested by one faculty member that we use two control groups, upon reflection with my Biostatistics Manual by Zar (1999), I decided to follow Zar's recommendation that both treatment and control groups should be the same size.
It should be noted that during the study, the students in the treatment group (with the InvertZoo CD) requested that they be allowed to share their CD with their lab partners. This request was granted. (It was gratifying to know students thought enough of the CD that they wished to share with their colleagues, and that they were interested enough in Invertebrate Zoology that they would spend extra time using the InvertZoo CD.) Three additional individuals from the course contacted me and requested the InvertZoo CD because they were struggling with this subject. I did not deny their request. I decided that a third group should be studied - those students who requested to share the InvertZoo CD and those students whose lab partners had access to the InvertZoo CD and were willing to share. Therefore the individuals in this group formed a third group for our study, labelled the sharing group.
Refer to data results section:
Quantitative Data (Statistical Analysis)
Qualitative Data (Student Survey)
This investigation supports the belief that the InvertZoo modules are of benefit to students' learning. Students using the InvertZoo CD were significantly higher in final scores and final lab scores. The InvertZoo modules are an effective teaching tool as demonstrated in this study. This finding leads the way to a full study on InvertZoo modules and student use.
The survey responses indicate the students felt the InvertZoo CD was a worthwhile teaching aid.
Students provided valuable suggestions to improve the effectiveness of the InvertZoo CD.
Completing a full study involving process / product research, following the completion of my courses listed below:
Spring (January to May) Semester 2003. I have enrolled in EDU 6140: Assessing Student Learning. This course will assist with my understanding of assessment techniques used to evaluate student learning. Standardized tests and alternate authentic assessments will be examined in this course.
Spring (January to May) Semester 2003. I have enrolled in EDU 6150:Introduction to Classroom Action Research. This course examines the use of action research methodology to investigate problems of professional practice and their solutions. It will be a review of research literature and a plan for data collection and analysis related to this research project.
Fall (September to December) Semester 2003. I will be enrolling in EDU 6160: Conducting Classroom Action Research. Research will be conducted, the collection and analysis of data will take place, results and conclusions of this research project will be completed.
I wish to thank my collaborators, Dr. Denis Lynn and Mr. Greg Humphreys, who supported the study and who were instrumental at obtaining student grades. I wish to thank the Professors in Zoology for encouragement and support, and in particular, Dr. Noakes (who really understands students!). I thank Dr. Glen VanDerKraak for his support for the purchase of blank CDs for the project.
I wish to thank the Invertebrate Zoology Fall 2002 students for participating in the study and offering valuable comments.
I wish to thank my colleagues at College of St. Scholastica for their ideas. I wish to thank my Profs, whose assigned readings inspired me to investigate this project.
Most of all, I thank My Lord, and God, for everything!
If you have comments or suggestions,
please email me (marie Thérèse Rush) at:firstname.lastname@example.org
Surtout, la pédagogie, c'est la raison qu'on crée des programmes!
Created: Jan. 12, 2003
Last update: June 16, 2005