Undergraduate Student Factors as Correlates of Scientific Literacy Levels in the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados

Ogunkola, Babalola J.; Garner-O'Neale, Leah
May 2013
International Journal of Management Sciences & Business Research;2013, Vol. 2 Issue 5, p65
Academic Journal
This study investigated the scientific literacy levels of a selected sample of non-science undergraduate students of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, and Barbados. The study sought to determine if the scientific literacy levels of the students were satisfactory and also if there were statistically significant differences in the scientific literacy levels of the students based on their course of study (social sciences, humanities/education and law), level of study (levels 1, 2 and 3) and age. It further sought to determine the extent to which each of these three selected variables individually and jointly affected the undergraduate students' scientific literacy levels. A sample of 314 students from three faculties participated in this study. Data were collected by means of 'Scientific Literacy Test' (SLT) and analyzed using means, standard deviations, and linear regression. The results of the study revealed that the mean score of the participants in the test was 49.21% which implies that an average non-science undergraduate student in the university was below average in his or her scientific literacy level. There were no statistically significant differences among the mean scores of the students' scientific literacy based on course of study (F [2, 311] = .045; p = 0.956), level of study (F [2, 311] = 1.169; p = 0.312), and age (F [6, 307] = 0.570; p = 0.754). Moreover, the students' course of study, level of study and age were not significant predictors of the scientific literacy scores. Also, the joint effect of the variables was not significant in predicting the scientific literacy scores of the undergraduate students (F [3, 310] = 0.162; p = 0.922). In this study, the best predictor of undergraduate students' scientific literacy scores, though not statistically significant, was the age of the students.


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