2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM


KAPLAN, Sanford S., Department of Geosciences, Univ of Nebraska-Lincoln, 214 Bessey Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0340, skaplan2@unl.edu

Students enrolled in introductory level geology classes at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Southeast Community College have been asked to fill out a voluntary questionnaire about halfway through the semester that asks them to describe their favorite learning strategies. The classes include physical geology, environmental geology, oceanography, and life of the past. The data set now includes over 1,000 responses.

Nine “techniques” were favored by students: highlighting text, note taking in class, note taking (outlining) the reading, preparing review cards (3” x 5”, for example), listening closely in class, tape-recording lectures, sharing observations with fellow-students, memorizing course material, and thoroughly reading all assigned material.

Female students showed a marked preference for three of the techniques as opposed to males. Females favored flash cards by a ratio of 2:1, thoroughly reading all class materials (2:1), and most significantly, sharing observations with others, by a ratio of 7:1. These preferences may reflect some deeper level difference in approach to studying basic science classes between females and males. Knowledge that these preferences exist may assist teachers in designing classes to effectively reach all members of the classroom.