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ERIC Number: EJ1127371
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0047-231X
Two-Year Community: Using Formative Assessment to Improve Microscope Skills among Urban Community College General Biology I Lab Students
Keller, Charles
Journal of College Science Teaching, v46 n3 p11-18 Jan 2017
Community colleges serve the noble mission of making higher education accessible to a broader spectrum of society than traditional 4-year institutions. A side effect of this broad access is a lower level of student preparedness for success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses. This work describes our efforts to improve microscope skills among General Biology I lab students who often leave the course lacking acceptable levels of microscope skills proficiency, which may set them up for failure in higher level courses. We sought to improve student microscope skills by implementing formative assessment techniques in addition to summative assessment approaches. Our results suggest that the inclusion of formative assessment approaches can lead to improvements in student microscope proficiency by highlighting challenges or areas of student difficulty that summative assessment may only reveal after opportunities for further improvement have already passed. The instructor was also able to identify student challenges and modify his approach in a more effective manner than would have been possible using summative assessments alone.
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York (New York)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A