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ERIC Number: EJ1073564
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1918-2902
A Report on the Implementation of the Blooming Biology Tool: Aligning Course Learning Outcomes with Assessments and Promoting Consistency in a Large Multi-Section First-Year Biology Course
O'Neill, Angie; Birol, Gülnur; Pollock, Carol
Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v1 n1 Article 8 2010
The objectives of this study were to investigate the alignment of exam questions with course learning outcomes in a first year biology majors course, to examine gaps and overlaps in assessment of content amongst the sections of the course, and to use this information to provide feedback to the teaching team to further improve the course. Our ultimate goal was to provide students with learning outcomes that would clearly indicate the content and the level at which they would be expected to learn the content for this course, regardless of the section in which they were registered. We took an evidence-based approach to course evaluation and employed the Blooming Biology Tool to compare the learning outcomes and the exam questions of the course, investigating whether the cognitive skill level of each learning outcome as written matched the level at which it was assessed. We identified misalignments and recommended revising the learning outcomes to better reflect the intended level of learning for the course. We also investigated student performance on exam questions of different cognitive levels and found that students scored statistically significantly higher (p < 0.05) on questions in which learning outcomes were tested at the stated cognitive skill level compared to at a higher level.
University of Western Ontario and Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Mills Memorial Library Room 504, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L6, Canada. Tel: 905-525-9140; 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: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A