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Findings, methods

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Project Status:  IRB Exempt (but collecting consent forms from students completing the course just in case)

Fall 2008:

Student population:    13 students enrolled in the single semester "Introduction to Biochemistry" course

                                     14 students enrolled in first semester of the two semester "Biochemistry" course

Data collected or on file with permission to access granted:

1. Assessment of prior knowledge in the two disciplines under investigation (Biology and Chemistry):

Grades on prereq courses (on file)

A chemistry and a biology pretest given the first week of the semester (administered and evaluated) (Tests attached).

2. Assessment of informal logic:

5 puzzles (attached) that contain no disciplinary knowledge requirement and are specifically non-quantitative (is chosen to exclude assessment of formal logic skills).  Both the answers provided and the time it took for individual students to work through them were evaluated

3. Assessment of initial attitudes and aptitudes towards the two disciplines under investigation:

Extensive two part questionnaire (attached) given first day of classes as well as a follow up meeting two weeks into  the semester (Second questionnaire based on CLASS- Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey: for Chemistry as well as the questions that are being currently developed and validated as provided by Jenny Knight)

4. Assessment of student learning preferences:

VARK questionnaire (Administered two weeks prior to the end of semester)

5. Assessment of student achievement:

Tracking individual performance in four categories of course work (Exams, Assignments, Lab work, In class work – clickers/ IPT sessions) all categorized into three classification of levels of intellectual behavior important in learning based on Bloom’s Taxonomy:


Knowledge: arrange, define, duplicate, label, list, memorize, name, order, recognize, relate, recall, repeat, reproduce state.

Comprehension: classify, describe, discuss, explain, express, identify, indicate, locate, recognize, report, restate, review, select, translate,

Level 2

Application: apply, choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, practice, schedule, sketch, solve, use, write.

Analysis: analyze, appraise, calculate, categorize, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test.

Level 3

Synthesis: arrange, assemble, collect, compose, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, manage, organize, plan, prepare, propose, set up, write.

Evaluation: appraise, argue, assess, attach, choose compare, defend estimate, judge, predict, rate, core, select, support, value, evaluate.

6. Additional data to look into possible other correlations:

Students' QR (Quantitative Reasoning) Test results (on file- taken when they entered Welesley College)

Mid-semester written evaluations data (collected anonymously)

Attendance to tutoring sessions throughout the semester (to be reported after the grades are in)

Writing 125 course grades (permission to access to be asked for)

Spring 2009:

Student population:    22 students enrolled in the single semester "Introduction to Biochemistry" course (taught by a different instructor in lecture, same instructor in lab) 

                                     12 students enrolled in the second semester of the two semester "Biochemistry" course (one graduated, the other went abroad - will take the course next year)


Plan to administer a subset of the surveys/ questions that seemed to give the highest correlations (without full data analysis) to the new Chem222 students and administer a few new informal logic tests on the continuing cohort and keep tracking their course success.


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Files 5

FileSizeDateAttached by 
 Biology Pretest.doc
Biology Pretest
93.5 kB00:22, 21 Dec 2008dvardar-uluActions
 Chemistry Pretest.doc
Chemistry Pretest
101 kB00:22, 21 Dec 2008dvardar-uluActions
 Intro_Questionaire_F08_Part I.doc
First part of the "getting to know the students"
31.5 kB23:58, 20 Dec 2008dvardar-uluActions
 Intro_Questionaire_F08_Part II.doc
Second part of the "getting to know the students"
40.5 kB23:58, 20 Dec 2008dvardar-uluActions
Informal logic puzzles
303 kB23:58, 20 Dec 2008dvardar-uluActions
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