Students’ Explanation: Wider Variety of Teaching Methods Increases Motivation and Give Higher Results in Biology

  • Martin Granbom Gymnasieskolan Spyken
  • Marianne Granbom Department of Health Sciences, Lund University
Keywords: formative methods, variation, student participation, motivation, secondary education, biology, oral examination


By planning and teaching a specific topic, in an Upper Secondary School biology course in a highly formative way the effect on student learning was studied. Within given frames, students planned working methods and examination form within the topic of Gene technology. For the examination students also phrased learning goals and assessment criteria. The design resulted in higher summative grades on the topic compared to traditionally taught topics within the same course. In this study, students were interviewed in focus groups, one year after graduation to investigate student view on the intervention. One important outcome is that students appreciate variation in teaching more than the content itself. There was also a positive reaction to students planning working methods, but students wanted the teacher to perform different kinds of controlling actions. Findings are discussed in the context of formative methods with intentions of improving practical teaching methods.

Author Biographies

Martin Granbom, Gymnasieskolan Spyken
The author has a Ph.D. in animal ecology and a teaching degree in Biology and Science. Currently, the author works at the Biology Department of Gymnasieskolan Spyken in Lund, Sweden, teaching courses in Biology. When the study was carried out, at Katedralskolan in Lund, 5 % of the position was devoted to research and evaluation of teaching practice, financed by the school.
Marianne Granbom, Department of Health Sciences, Lund University


Marianne Granbom has a PhD in Health Science and is assistant professor at the Department of Health Science at Lund University. She is a qualified educator for higher education and has been teaching undergraduate students at Lund University for 10 years. Her research focuses on Housing and Quality of Life in older adults and she has extensive knowledge and experience in qualitative methodology.