Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Animal Physiology


Layfield, Kevin D

Committee Member

Bertrand , Jean A

Committee Member

Beck , Mary M

Committee Member

Dobbins , Thomas R


The objectives of this project were to: evaluate the impact of demographic descriptors (gender, class rank and final grade) on student's self perceived level of engagement in classroom activities; measure the impact of varying teaching styles on a student's likelihood of correctly answering a knowledge based question and: assessing the relationship of knowledge acquisition with their level of engagement. Data were collected on students in the AVS 150, introductory animal science class (n=155) at Clemson University during the fall of 2008. Ten to fifteen minutes of class time were classified as conforming exclusively to one of three types of material delivery. The three classifications were labeled as either traditional lecture,; technology-enhanced, or; web-enhanced. At the conclusion of the blocks of time students were posed a knowledge question, germane to the presented material as well as being asked to respond with their level of engagement in classroom activities. The responses were collected via a 5-point Likert-type scale (1=Completely Disaffected - 5=Completely Engaged) using the i-Clicker audience response system.
Results of the demographic descriptors show that females have a statistically significant (P < .05) higher final grade (M=84.35) than males (M=82.35) and that freshmen have a statistically significant (P < .05) higher final grade (M=84.05) than upperclassmen (M=81.07). Despite these findings there were no reliable relationships between descriptors and level of engagement. Ultimately no demographic descriptors were found to be useful in predicting level of classroom engagement.
The second objective of the project was to measure the level of engagement as compared to type of teaching and pair that with the knowledge acquisition there was a significant difference (P < .05) in students reported level of engagement in traditional (M=3.41), web-enhanced (M=3.52) and technology-enhanced (M=3.70). No significant relationships were identified between a student's level of engagement and the likelihood of answering a knowledge question correctly, suggesting that although students have a preference for how material is delivered no differences in academic performance were identified.