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Research Design

Table of contents
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Research Plan


Individual demographics – describe group
·         GPA
·         Gender
·         How many science courses
·         Major
By the end of the first week, have students in groups of 4-5. Allow students to choose their own groups to minimize resistance to group work. Groups will not be facilitated any differently than in the past – basically consists of instructor circulating among groups.
1.      Provide some guidance on promoting functional group dynamics – basic information.
·         The work of Cohen and Johnson and Johnson which is summarized on the UCITE web site and in the CBE-Life Science article by Tanner (2003).
·         Input from Human Resources
2.      Establish mechanisms for group accountability
·         Mechanisms described in annotated bibliography
·         Group Work Evaluation (CAT 47)
By the end of the first week, have students complete metacognition survey (Metacognitive Awareness Inventory). Also ask them to complete the survey at the conclusion of the course.
·         Could use MAI either through Blackboard (preferred), or face to face (not preferred because it uses too much class time).
·         Need to see the newer instrument (SEMIL-L?)
Embedded metacognition measures
·         Each exam consists of three questions. After the exam is handed in, students describe how well they think they did on each question – local monitoring accuracy (use 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 scale with simple descriptions of what a 5 is, what a 3 is, and what a 1 is).
·         Students also give an overall rating for how they think they did on the exam – global monitoring accuracy (use 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 scale with simple description).
·         Data can be collected and sealed by one of the students if there are any concerns this input will impact grading.
·         In the final analysis, the local and global monitoring accuracy will be correlated to their actual scores on individual questions and on the overall exam.
·         Structure exams so that question 1 comes from content that was covered just by lecture, question 2 comes from content covered during group discussions (isomorphic to discussion question if possible), and question 3 comes from content covered individually (isomorphic).
·         For all questions, attempt to include three parts at different Bloom’s levels. At the very least, have parts a and b be at lower Bloom’s levels and/or b and c be at higher Bloom’s levels. I can Bloom the questions, but they should also be Bloomed by someone else.
·         Develop and use rubrics for scoring each exam question.
Active learning
·         Identify content that will be on exam (question 1), but not covered by active learning – covered by lecture instead.
·         Identify active learning content (data-driven question 2), that will be discussed in groups – at the end of the group discussion, each member of the group will submit an individual response (rather than a single group response).
·         Identify active learning content (data-driven question 3), that will be analyzed individually – at the end of the analysis, each student submits an individual response. This will typically be done the class before an exam and will be a question from a previous exam.
Formative assessment
·         Following exams 1, 2, and 3, collect quick data from students on the following topics : pace of the course, work load, usefulness of the text, grading, what do you think is helping you learn, what do you think is hindering your learning, and what specific suggestions do you have for improving learning in the classroom (based on CAT 44).
·         Have students complete these individually to be sure we capture any concerns about group work.
Focus groups
·         At the end of the year, have third party conduct a focus group, and I will do the same for Biol 214 in the spring.
·         I think UCITE has recommendations for how to conduct focus groups.
·         This topic was also covered in the 2008 Biology Scholars program, so ask them for recommendations as well.
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