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Article

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

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


American Journal of Educational Research. 2014, Vol. 2 No. 11, 1029-1035
DOI: 10.12691/education-2-11-5
Copyright © 2014 Science and Education Publishing

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.

Correspondence to: Krassimir  Yankulov, Department Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N1G2W1. Email: yankulov@uoguelph.ca

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.

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