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Georgia Journal of Science

Abstract

The University System of Georgia has undergone nine consolidations of institutions of higher education in the past seven years. One consequence of a consolidation is that faculty from historically different institutions are brought together to work in newly-created units, and this requires merging of ideas, particularly at the departmental level. In the Department of Biology of our own institution, this manifested as differences in the types of hypotheses taught in nonmajors classes in which scientific literacy is a learning outcome of high priority. Data can be useful for resolving such differences, but there was limited data on the effect of teaching different types of hypotheses on scientific literacy. To help inform our decision, we tested whether teaching null hypotheses and statistics versus teaching an alternate hypothesis without statistics affected achievement of scientific literacy in two nonmajors classes. We found that, in general, scientific literacy gains were not greatly impacted by treatment (null hypothesis with statistics versus alternate hypothesis without statistics), but rather, were more strongly impacted by instructor. We conclude that since variation among instructors had a greater impact on scientific literacy learning gains than type of hypothesis, the type of hypothesis taught could be left up to the discretion of the individual instructors.

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank members of the Biology Department at the University of North Georgia who participated in this study as well as Dr. Bryan Dawson for advice on statistical analysis of the data.

Blackwell et all Appendices v3.docx (321 kB)
Appendices for Blackwell et al paper

Pesticide Lab Handout ALTERNATIVE.docx (17 kB)
Sample lab handout for alternative hypothesis sections

Pesticide Lab Handout NULL.docx (17 kB)
Sample lab handout for null hypothesis sections

Blackwell et all Appendices v4.docx (321 kB)
Revised appendices for Blackwell et al paper

Pesticide Lab Handout ALTERNATE.docx (17 kB)
Revised sample lab handout for alternate hypothesis sections

Pesticide Lab Handout NULL.docx (17 kB)
Revised sample lab handout for null hypothesis sections

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