Integrating 21st century skills in a UBD unit plan
Date of Publication
Master of Science in Teaching Major in Biology
Biology | Science and Mathematics Education
Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education
Learners of today are referred to as Digital Natives by Prensky (2011). He described the modern learners as significantly different in terms of preferences among others. It is therefore imperative for educators to respond to the changing nature and needs of 21st century learners. The researcher developed a unit plan (UbD21) grounded on the principles of Understanding by Backward Design by Wiggins and McTighe (2006). UbD21 integrated essential 21st century skills adapted from the enGauge 21st century skills framework. This study explored the improvement of student conceptions on life energy and processes and acquisition and/or enhancement of 21st century skills after exposure to UbD21. UbD21 integrates skills drawn from enGauge 21st century skills framework: Effective Communication, Inventive Thinking, Teaming and Collaboration, and High Productivity. The study conducted for one quarter from September to November 2012 involved an intact class composed of 49 students from St. Theresas College, Quezon City. Before UbD21, students prior conceptions were checked using the Life Energy and Processes Concept Test (Cronbach alpha=0.805334) and a pre-check of their perceived 21st century skills through a researcher developed Perceptions of 21st Century Skills Questionnaire (P21Q) (Cronbach alpha=0.88721). After UbD21, the students were given a post-test using the Life Energy and Processes Concept Test. The students were also made to evaluate their perceived understanding of the topics using the Life Energy and Processes Concepts Checklist (Cronbach alpha=0.903277) patterned after Wiggins and McTighes Six Facet of Understanding Rubric. Analysis of the change in conceptions of the students was done using t-test to find out significance difference on students achievement before and after exposure to UbD21. The results reveal the computed t was 7.3664 was greater than the critical t-value at 0.05 level of significance (p= 1.07286E-14 at df 48). The results revealed that the number of students who had a significant gain of 3 and above in the post-test was 43 or 87.76% while 6 students or 12.26% did not gain significantly. The normalized gain scores of the students obtained a computed value of 0.28. The results of the Life Energy and Processes Concepts Checklist revealed that the students perceived understanding of the topics on Plant Parts and Functions and Cellular Respiration improved significantly in terms of weighted mean. The students perceived their understanding of all of the topics on Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration as In-depth. The students IRF charts mirrored correct pre-conceptions as well as misconceptions revised by the students during and after implementation of UbD21. Students responses to P21Q suggest an improvement in the students perceptions of their 21st century skills particularly in the constructs on Digital-Age Literacy (mean difference=0.01), Effective Communication (mean difference=0.25), and High Productivity (mean difference=0.01). Significant improvements in the conceptions and skills were seen in the results of the Life Energy and Processes Parallel Concept Test and Transfer/Performance Tasks. The results suggested that UbD21 could facilitate improvement the students conceptions on life energy and processes. More so, UbD21 could also promote acquisition and/or enhancement of students 21st century skills.
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Constructivism (Education); Ability—Testing
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Dasas, L. B. (2012). An integration of 21st century skills in an understanding by design (UBD) pedagogical plan in life energy and processes. Retrieved from https://animorepository.dlsu.edu.ph/etd_masteral/4364