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ERIC Number: EJ1073336
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-1043-4046
A Progressive Assessment Strategy Improves Student Learning and Perceived Course Quality in Undergraduate Physiology
Saint, D. A.; Horton, D.; Yool, A.; Elliott, A.
Advances in Physiology Education, v39 n3 p218-222 Sep 2015
In 2010, second-year physiology (n = 165) had a traditional single 3-h end-of-semester exam. To provide diagnostic feedback earlier, for students enrolled in 2011 (n = 128), we incorporated an in-class exam at 3 wk in addition to the final exam. Based on initial analysis and positive student comments, for the 2012 cohort (n = 148), we expanded this to incorporate four 1-h in-class exams every 3 wk plus a short final integrative exam. Average scores from exams and questionnaires (student evaluations of learning and teaching, 10 questions) were compared among 2010, 2011, and 2012 cohorts. We also compared scores in the practical component of the course, which had a constant format for all cohorts. Data are given as means ± SD; statistical analyses were done with unpaired two-way Students t-tests. From 2010 to 2012, there was a significant improvement in total exam scores (59.7 ± 15.8 vs. 68.6 ± 14.2, P < 0.001) but no significant change in total practical scores (72.3 ± 9.0 vs. 74.4 ± 10.2, P = 0.05), indicating that the rise in exam score was not due to higher academic abilities of the 2012 cohort. Overall mean student evaluation of learning and teaching responses (4.9 ± 0.4 vs. 5.3 ± 0.3, P = 0.015) and overall percent broad agreement (66.0 ± 8.0 vs. 79.2 ± 7.5, P = 0.003) indicated a significant improvement in student satisfaction. In conclusion, both learning outcome and perceived course quality were enhanced by the increased frequency of examinations, possibly by promoting consistent student study habits.
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: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia