NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1064192
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-1043-4046
Improving Consistency in Large Laboratory Courses: A Design for a Standardized Practical Exam
Chen, Xinnian; Graesser, Donnasue; Sah, Megha
Advances in Physiology Education, v39 n2 p102-107 Jun 2015
Laboratory courses serve as important gateways to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. One of the challenges in assessing laboratory learning is to conduct meaningful and standardized practical exams, especially for large multisection laboratory courses. Laboratory practical exams in life sciences courses are frequently administered by asking students to move from station to station to answer questions, apply knowledge gained during laboratory experiments, interpret data, and identify various tissues and organs using various microscopic and gross specimens. This approach puts a stringent time limit on all questions regardless of the level of difficulty and also invariably increases the potential risk of cheating. To avoid potential cheating in laboratory courses with multiple sections, the setup for practical exams is often changed in some way between sections. In laboratory courses with multiple instructors or teaching assistants, practical exams may be handled inconsistently among different laboratory sections, due to differences in background knowledge, perceptions of the laboratory goals, or prior teaching experience. In this article, we describe a design for a laboratory practical exam that aims to align the assessment questions with well-defined laboratory learning objectives and improve the consistency among all laboratory sections.
American Physiological Society. 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3991. Tel: 301-634-7164; Fax: 301-634-7241; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A