Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Terence Hicks

Committee Members

Jill Channing, Richard Rhoda


The primary purpose of this study was to compare academic variables from students participating in mixed teaching methods/course revitalization biology courses to those in traditional courses at two community colleges in Tennessee. A two-group comparison design using archived data was used, which evaluated differences in final grades, exam scores, and homework completion as indicators of the academic success between an urban institution and a rural college. A power analysis was performed using G*Power software to provide the needed sample size, indicating a size of 176. There were 227 students in the active teaching lecture classrooms, and 198 students in the lab classes. SPSS randomly selected matching numbers from those enrolled in Non-CR lab courses using the “select cases” function. As community colleges provide an essential service, meeting needs for students who may not be afforded the same opportunities to attend larger institutions, this research attempted to add to the available literature concerning student retention and academic success. In both the Introductory Biology lecture and lab courses, there was a statistically significant increase in lecture homework completion (p = .045) and lab homework completion (p < .001) in those students who participated in the course revitalization (CR) courses. There were also higher test scores on three of the five lecture unit exams, as well as all three of the laboratory unit exams (p < .001 for all three exams) for those students in the CR courses. The final grades

for students in the mixed methods courses were significantly higher (p < .001 for lecture and lab) for those students than those in the traditionally formatted courses. There was no statistical difference in mean final exam scores for the two populations of students. Between the two institutions, there were more As and Bs in the mixed methods courses (p < .001). Finally, there were more As and withdrawals at the rural community college than the urban college. These findings show that students have academic success, measured by unit scores, final grades, and homework completion, in those courses presented in mixed-methods manner in Introductory Biology I courses at the community college.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.