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Enhancement of student performance with Web -based exercises: Does it work for insect identification?

Douglas A Golick, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study investigated the effects of three types of instruction on undergraduate students' identification performance for pictorial and prepared insect specimens. Three experiments were conducted: two with undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory insect identification course and one with undergraduate students that had never received insect identification instruction as a part of a course. Students were randomly assigned to one of three Web-based exercises: traditional (line-drawing), key character, or classification instruction. ^ Four questions were examined as a part of this study. First, this study investigated whether undergraduate students that received Web-based traditional (line-drawing), key character, or classification instruction differed in their performance on pictorial and prepared insect specimen identification tasks. Second, this study investigated if differences existed in student performance at the arthropod class, insect order, and insect family levels of classification. Third, this study investigated if the ratio of misspelled and misidentified specimens varied between the Web-based instruction groups. Finally, this study examined whether a greater percentage of identification errors were due to misspellings or misidentifications. ^ The results of the study found that there were no differences in student identification performance as a result of the Web-based instruction type. Students correctly identified a significantly smaller percentage of insect families than arthropod classes or insect orders. There were no differences in the ratio of spelling or identification errors among students that received the different types of Web-based instruction. Finally, a significantly greater percentage of errors were due to misidentification than from misspellings in all experiments. ^

Subject Area

Education, Agricultural|Education, Technology of|Education, Curriculum and Instruction|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Golick, Douglas A, "Enhancement of student performance with Web -based exercises: Does it work for insect identification?" (2005). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3199695.