Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Document Type



A new generation has entered higher education that learns differently from generations before. To meet the changing needs of this generation, Western Kentucky University’s Biology Department introduced e-textbooks and e-materials from McGraw Hill™ publishing in the fall of 2013 to most low-level classes. A foreseen product of this shift was a change in the way that some faculty taught and assessed their classes. This study assesses the changes in pedagogical techniques among professors of 100- and 200-level biology classes due to the new e-text and e-materials. Syllabi were collected from these classes pre- and post-implementation and common characteristics were inductively coded and statistically analyzed to identify changes in pedagogy. It was found that biology professors increased their average number of homework assignments by 23%. There was also a 289% increase in the number of courses that offered homework assignments as a means of assessment, indicating a shift from traditional summative assessments to more formative assessments after the implementation of the e-materials. This work provides insight into simple strategies that affect pedagogy in higher education STEM disciplines.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Kerrie McDaniel


Biology | Education | Educational Methods