A comparative study on student perceptions of their learning outcomes in undergraduate science degree programmes with differing curriculum models

Matthews, Kelly E., Firn, Jennifer, Schmidt, Susanne and Whelan, Karen (2017) A comparative study on student perceptions of their learning outcomes in undergraduate science degree programmes with differing curriculum models. International Journal of Science Education, 1-19. doi:10.1080/09500693.2017.1304672


Author Matthews, Kelly E.
Firn, Jennifer
Schmidt, Susanne
Whelan, Karen
Title A comparative study on student perceptions of their learning outcomes in undergraduate science degree programmes with differing curriculum models
Journal name International Journal of Science Education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1464-5289
0950-0693
Publication date 2017-03-24
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/09500693.2017.1304672
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Start page 1
End page 19
Total pages 19
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Abstract This study investigated students’ perceptions of their graduate learning outcomes including content knowledge, communication, writing, teamwork, quantitative skills, and ethical thinking in two Australian universities. One university has a traditional discipline-orientated curriculum and the other, an interdisciplinary curriculum in the entry semester of first year. The Science Students Skills Inventory asked students (n = 613) in first and final years to rate their perceptions of the importance of developing graduate learning outcomes within the programme; how much they improved their graduate learning outcomes throughout their undergraduate science programme; how much they saw learning outcomes included in the programme; and how confident they were about their learning outcomes. A framework of progressive curriculum development was adopted to interpret results. Students in the discipline-oriented degree programme reported higher perceptions of scientific content knowledge and ethical thinking while students from the interdisciplinary curriculum indicated higher perceptions of oral communication and teamwork. Implications for curriculum development include ensuring progressive development from first to third years, a need for enhanced focus on scientific ethics, and career opportunities from first year onwards.
Keyword Learning gains
Science skills
Undergraduate science
Student perceptions
Interdisciplinary science
Curriculum development
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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Created: Sat, 25 Mar 2017, 12:26:31 EST by Kelly Matthews on behalf of Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation