American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/education Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
Open Access
Journal Browser
Go
American Journal of Educational Research. 2014, 2(11), 1029-1035
DOI: 10.12691/education-2-11-5
Open AccessArticle

More than Spelling and Grammar: Students Who Prefer to Write Outperform Students Who Prefer to Present

Krassimir Yankulov1,

1Department Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N1G2W1

Pub. Date: November 02, 2014

Cite this paper:
Krassimir Yankulov. More than Spelling and Grammar: Students Who Prefer to Write Outperform Students Who Prefer to Present. American Journal of Educational Research. 2014; 2(11):1029-1035. doi: 10.12691/education-2-11-5

Abstract

Oral presentations and posters are becoming key assignments in a growing number of university courses. While the enhancement of presentation skills is highly desirable, the learning benefits of these assignments have rarely been evaluated. Here I report the learning outcomes of students who prefer a presentation assignment versus students who prefer a writing assignment. Both groups are students in a 4th year molecular biology course. The period of analysis spans 7 years. The performance of these two cohorts (total of 393 students) has been measured by their marks in the midterm and final exams and by their engagement in class discussions. Statistical analysis of the data indicates that the writers have slightly but consistently outperformed the presenters. Considerations of teaching style variations could not explain the higher marks of the writers. These observations suggest that strong writing skills can provide a sizeable gain to overall learning skills and can enhance the overall learning outcomes.

Keywords:
writing skills university education learning outcomes

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

References:

[1]  Eric de Corte and and J.E. Fenstad, eds. From information to knowledge; from knowledge to wisdom: Challenges and changes facing higher education in the digital age. Wenner-Gren International Series. Vol. 85. Portland Press Ltd (2010).
 
[2]  Dalton, R., Public universities left reeling by recession, Nature. 458 (7234): p. 14-5 (2009).
 
[3]  Daradoumis, T., R. Bassi, F. Xhafa and S. Caballe, A review on massive e-learning (MOOC) design, delivery and assessment., Eighth International Conference on Parallel, Grid, Cloud and Internet Computing. p. 208-213 (2013).
 
[4]  Brewer, C.A., and and D. Smith, Vision and Change in undergraduate biology education: a call for action., Directorate for Biological Sciences, American Association for the Advencement of Science, Washington, DC. (2011).
 
[5]  Emanuel, E.J., MOOCs taken by educated few, Nature. 503 (7476): p. 342-342 (2013).
 
[6]  Mackness, J., M. Waite, G. Roberts and E. Lovegrove, Learning in a Small, Task-Oriented, Connectivist MOOC: Pedagogical Issues and Implications for Higher Education, International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. 14 (4): p. 140-159 (2013).
 
[7]  Waldrop, M.M., Online learning: Campus 2.0, Nature. 495(7440): p. 160-3 (2013).
 
[8]  Cleveland-Innes, M. and H. Kanuka, Blended and online higher education: teaching and learning in a wired world., Canadian Journal of Higher Education. 43 (3): p. i-iii (2013).
 
[9]  Lillis, T., Researching Student Learning: approaches to studying in campus-based and distance education, British Educational Research Journal. 28 (6): p. 902-903 (2002).
 
[10]  Lea, M. and B. Stierer, Changing academic identities in changing academic workplaces: learning from academics' everyday professional writing practices, Teaching in Higher Education. 16 (6): p. 605-616 (2011).
 
[11]  Ganobcsik-Williams, L., Teaching Academic Writing in UK Higher Education. Theories, Practices and Models. Universities into the 21st Century. Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. (2006).
 
[12]  Deane, M. and P. O'Neill, Writing in the Disciplines. Universities into the 21st Century. Palgrave Macmillan Ltd (2011).
 
[13]  Borglin, G., Promoting critical thinking and academic writing skills in nurse education, in Nurse Educ Today. p. 611-3 (2012).
 
[14]  Smith, T.G., J. Ariail, S. Richards-Slaughter and L. Kerr, Teaching professional writing in an academic health sciences center: the Writing Center model at the Medical University of South Carolina, Teach Learn Med. 23 (3): p. 298-300 (2011).
 
[15]  Yankulov, K. and R. Couto, Peer review in class: metrics and variations in a senior course, Biochem Mol Biol Educ. 40 (3): p. 161-8 (2012).
 
[16]  Hawk, T.F., A. Shah, Using Learning Style Instruments to Enhance Student Learning, Journal of Innovative Education. 5 (1): p. 1–19 (2007).
 
[17]  Leite, W.L.S., M.; Shi, Y., Attempted Validation of the Scores of the VARK: Learning Styles Inventory with Multitrait-Multimethod Confirmatory Factor Analysis Models, Educational and Psychological Measurement. 70 (2): p. 323-339 (2010).
 
[18]  Coffield, F.M., D.; Hall, E.; Ecclestone, K., Learning styles and pedagogy in post-16 learning: a systematic and critical review, Learning & Skills Research Centre: Report. p. 1-175 (2004).
 
[19]  DiBartola, L.M., M.K. Miller and C.L. Turley, Do learning style and learning environment affect learning outcome?, J Allied Health. 30 (2): p. 112-5 (2001)
 
[20]  Evans, C. and J.D. Vermunt, Styles, approaches, and patterns in student learning, Br J Educ Psychol. 83 (Pt 2): p. 185-95 (2013).
 
[21]  Pashler, H.M., M.; Rohrer, D.; Bjork, R, Learning styles: Concepts and evidence, Psychological Science in the Public Interest 9: p. 105-119 (2008).
 
[22]  Rohrer, D. and H. Pashler, Learning styles: where's the evidence?, Med Educ. 46 (7): p. 634-5 (2012).
 
[23]  Summerlee, A.J.S., Challenge of engagement inside and outside the classroom: the future for universities, in From Information to Knowledge; from Knowledge to Wisdom, E. de Corte, Editor. p. 67-77 (2010).