Chapter 1 of this study explores research that has shown that the use of technology in the classroom can be beneficial to student learning. Additionally, a need for Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) instruction in university level core environmental science classrooms has been demonstrated. This study includes an investigation of the potential benefits of using a combination of pedagogies: web-based teaching tools and ESA instruction in a laboratory classroom. The research design included two class formats, one that employed web-based tools (PowerPoint and video) and ESA instruction, and one that did not, with four class sections. All classes were taught by the same instructor and teaching assistant. Weekly quizzes, labs, a final exam, informal interviews and a student survey were used to measure effectiveness of the teaching tools. Significant improvement was exhibited on application questions featured on the final exam with the experimental group scoring higher on 6 of the 15 questions. Additionally, students' preparation and enthusiasm was improved among the experimental groups. Student ratings and performance for the two different formats were similar. Success in the class may depend on the students' preparation and personal desire to succeed. In conclusion, these results suggest that a combination of pedagogies that employs web-based tools and ESA instruction in the laboratory classroom may improve student's preparation for class activities and acquisition of career skills, as well as their enjoyment and enthusiasm to participate in class activities. Chapter 2 represents a sample of the required application activity from the soil science class. It includes the background, test results, procedures, conclusions and recommendations for an Environmental Site Assessment (ESA). ESA instruction is arguably an important addition to soil science curriculum and as such is demonstrated here as an example of the skills displayed and information applied by students who are instructed in writing ESAs.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Plant and Wildlife Sciences



Date Submitted


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science education, soil science, PowerPoint, technology, laboratory classroom, ESA, Wallsburg, UT