Virtual fetal pig dissection as an agent of Knowledge acquisition for female high school Biology students
Maloney, Rebecca S.
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This study attempted to determine if a virtual fetal pig dissection can be used as a viable alternative for an actual dissection for females enrolled in high school biology classes by comparing the knowledge acquisition between the experimental (virtual dissection) and control (actual dissection) groups. Two hundred and twenty four students enrolled in biology classes in a suburban all-girl parochial high school participated in this study. Female students in an all-girl high school were chosen because research shows differences in science competency and computer usage between the genders that may mask the performance of females on computer-based tasks in a science laboratory exercise. Students who completed the virtual dissection scored significantly higher on practical and objective tests that were used to measure knowledge acquisition. Further research is suggested to determine if a virtual laboratory experience can be a substitute for actual dissections, or may serve as an enhancement to an actual dissection.