Description: In prior research focusing on teaching and learning science, a definitive trend toward a new approach for undergraduate non-major science courses has emerged. Instruction should be refocused from information-transfer to giving students experiences that allow them to explore and engage in their new knowledge and find ways to integrate it into their everyday lives. One technique is to focus class material on real issues of interest and relevance. Course development that allows for civic engagement and self discovery connects learning to the lives of students and their communities. This study used a quasi-experimental design to see if students who engaged in their learning had improved learning gains, increased motivation, and ability to relate it to their lives. The results showed that students were more motivated to connect the subject to their lives when they engaged through civic engagement projects. Techniques used in this research can be used in the future to develop science courses that focus on the needs of 21st century learners.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Taylor, Alana Presley