Meaning Check Questions as an Active Learning Tool in the University Biology Laboratory Assists International Students


Greater participation by students is associated with better learning outcomes. Therefore active learning approaches in teaching have been encouraged for teachers to use in the classroom. In particular, student-centered learning is highly appreciated in a classroom where international students have to learn in English while it is not their first language. Master of Science students at Griffith University, Australia, all international students, were exposed to an environment where Meaning Check Questions (MQ) were practiced as an active learning approach. The MQs were incorporated into a biology laboratory course and required the students to answer short verbal questions relating to the course content, experimental procedures and scientific writing. The results show that these methods encouraged students to be more active in class and improved their confidence level and knowledge of the key concepts during the course, compared to students who did not experience the MQ learning approach. Students exposed to MQs during the course also showed a distinct improvement in their confidence towards scientific writing.

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Hawkes, H. , Hawkes, A. & Tonissen, K. (2012). Meaning Check Questions as an Active Learning Tool in the University Biology Laboratory Assists International Students. Creative Education, 3, 866-873. doi: 10.4236/ce.2012.326130.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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