Many studies support the shift to interactive biology classrooms. Implementing these pedagogical changes can be particularly challenging for educators who must balance class preparation time with student engagement and course content. One approach to finding this balance is the use of complex classes with many components that continually redirect student focus. This study aimed to determine which components of a complex lecture were most engaging to senior-level college students in an animal behavior course. For this study, I presented students in two animal behavior classes with a PowerPoint presentation, an activity, group work, class discussion, and a PowerPoint presentation with videos. Students responded to Likert items on a survey to rate their interest in lecture activities, the extent to which the activities encouraged thinking, and to identify their favorite component of the class. Students agreed that the activity encouraged. The two classes varied in preferred components, with the first class leaning toward the activity, whereas the second class preferred the videos, but these differences were not statistically significant. Overall, most students identified components of the traditional lecture as their favorites. These results suggest that moderately interactive approaches, such as videos, can engage students.

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