A comparison of indoor and outdoor biology education: What is the effect on student knowledge, attitudes, and retention?


JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL EDUCATION, vol.57, no.4, pp.727-745, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 57 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00219266.2021.1950809
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Greenfile
  • Page Numbers: pp.727-745
  • Keywords: attitude, Biology education, ecosystem ecology, indoor teaching, outdoor education
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


This study investigated the effects of outdoor education on a 10(th) grade biology curriculum in terms of the knowledge, attitudes, and retention of students compared to indoor teaching. The quasi-experimental design included three groups: experiment (OE; N = 43), control-II (indoor teaching; N = 35), and control-I (no application; N = 35). A multiple-choice knowledge test and biology attitude scale assessed the changes in knowledge and attitudes. The experiment and control-II groups took pre-, post-, and retention-tests, whereas the control-I group took pre- and retention-tests. Overall, the experiment group's knowledge and attitudes were more positively affected than those of control-II. Outdoor Education had a more positive effect on retention and attitudes than did indoor teaching; it took less time and was more economical and temporarily more efficient. Adding Outdoor Education to secondary education biology curricula would increase students' knowledge and positive attitudes. Cooperation between policy makers and universities is necessary for its effective application.