Summary of mentored teaching project In 2015 a small study was conducted to see if guided drawing and encouragement to draw in mammalogy laboratories resulted in improved observation skills and higher scores.
My goal in this study was to see if drawing activities increase student’s observation skills and resulted in higher laboratory scores. There was not a significant difference between mammalogy sections that did drawing exercises and were encouraged to draw and mammalogy sections that did not do drawing exercises and were not encouraged to draw. I reject my hypothesis that sections with drawing activities would have scores higher than students in control sections. The section with drawing activities had the lowest mean of all sections; although not significantly different. Other factors beyond encouragement to draw and drawing activities more strongly influenced student scores. Encouraging students to draw in laboratory and guiding them through drawing structures did not result in increased student scores in laboratory. However, the protocol for this study was helpful as the instructor could correct misconceptions and guide observations of important characters based on how students drew specimens. As a result of this study I used guided drawing and encouragement to draw in the subsequent semesters I taught mammalogy lab.
Figure 1: Boxplot of laboratory scores by section. Maximum points available in laboratory 270. The open square indicates the mean and the small black points indicate outline values. The heavy horizontal black bar represents the median. The lower and upper hinges correspond to the first and third quartiles (the 25th and 75th percentiles). The upper whisker extends from the hinge to the largest value no further than 1.5 * inter-quartile range (distance between the first and third quartiles). The lower whisker extends from the hinge to the smallest value at most 1.5 * inter-quartile range of the hinge.
Artifacts The approved proposal, background, methods, results in conclusion of the study of guided drawing and encouragement to draw in mammalogy labs