WHDL - 00009646
WHDL - 00009646
Although the use of technology in biological career paths is increasing globally, studies indicate that United States undergraduate biology students are not prepared for this technologically advanced workforce. One potential element of this issue is that students may not have adequate training with technology-based tools as it applies to undergraduate biology curriculum. To address this problem, my exploratory study examines student proficiency for graphing with Excel, and aptitude for an industry standard graphing program, SigmaPlot 12.0. Student preference was included in this study to gauge their overt and underlying perspectives of each software program. Four Junior and six Sophomore students participated in a teaching experiment that consisted of simple and complex graphing instruction using both Microsoft Excel and SigmaPlot 12.0. At the close of the teaching experiment, students created graphs using the program of their choice, and then participated in an interview. Interview results indicate a preference for Excel with simple graphing tasks and SigmaPlot 12.0 for more complex graphing tasks; yet, 80% of students indicated that Excel is burdensome. Analysis of the steps students took to generate each graph in their final session showed an overall lower proficiency level with Excel versus SigmaPlot for five out of six tasks. Analysis of students’ graph products also suggest that biology students overwhelmingly find Excel-based graphing challenging, and use of alternate software found in the biology industry is recommended for addressing this issue in educational settings.
This collection consists of theses for the Master of Science in General Biology at Point Loma Nazarene University. These items were provided to the library by their authors with the permission required to make them freely available for access. These works remain the intellectual property of their authors.