ERIC Number: EJ1023566
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
Assessment: Can It Lead to a Better Course Design?
Romeo, Peggy; Posey, Frederick
Journal of College Science Teaching, v43 n1 p30-36 Sep 2013
Concerns about the misuse of assessment results in accountability related efforts led our biology faculty to take the initiative to develop our own assessment tool for one of our introductory biology courses. Our goal was to evaluate student achievement in the course and detect methods for improving our course. We developed a pre/posttest, which we used for two semesters. Results from these two semesters showed a very small but significant increase from pre to posttest scores. For the third semester of the study, we moved to a collegewide common final. By creating questions based on the learning outcomes of the course, we were able to compare scores for specific questions to learning outcomes. These comparisons provided insight into the difficulty of certain concepts in biology, along with the degree of uniformity of instruction across various sections of the course. These results led us to question the amount of information covered in the introductory course, the difficulty level of the course, and the vague nature of our learning outcomes. Presently, on the basis of the results, our biology faculty are in the process of reevaluating the content of the course and developing new, more detailed course learning outcomes.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Accountability, Biology, College Science, Science Instruction, Student Evaluation, Educational Improvement, Pretests Posttests, College Outcomes Assessment, Introductory Courses, Comparative Analysis, Grades (Scholastic), Instructional Design
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nsta.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida