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Team John- George Plopper, Melissa Rowland-Goldsmith, and Melissa Carroll

Use the "Add file or image" button below to post your assignments for team feedback. To provide feedback, use the "Add comment" feature.

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 Melissa RG post institute assignment 1 8_28_14.docx
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16.23 kB01:04, 29 Aug 2014mrowlandgoldsmithActions
 Melissa RG post institute assignment 1 8_28_14-GPcomments.docx
George's annotation of Melissa's notes
17.82 kB13:33, 29 Aug 2014gplopperActions
 Melissa RG post institute assignment 1 8_28_14-GPcommentsMACcomments.docx
Melissa C's comments added too!
17.15 kB09:08, 1 Sep 2014mcarrollActions
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I guess I was looking at the wrong place - I was looking for the page to have content and silly me for not scrolling down. But please see my comments attached to the original document - thanks Melissa for getting that started and for letting me know to look a little further :)
Posted 09:07, 1 Sep 2014
Update on my project: (1) I managed to get all the concept inventories and surveys completed at the beginning of the term. I think I have a good "Day 0" for this project. (2) We started the "math part" yesterday, and it has gone well so far. Students are engaged and participating. I have collected two concept maps, but have yet to grade them. I will speak with John about that soon. (3) I have missed a few of the statistics classes and have fallen behind. I am worried I will not be able to keep current and will eventually drop out. Unfortunately nobody wants to hear that I can't come to their committee meeting because I'm sitting in on a stats class. I may have to recalibrate my expectations for this class; the fact is I was never going to be able to handle the analysis myself anyway, so the project is progressing just fine. (4) I continue to dislike Blackboard, and have found it cumbersome to use as a data collection tool. I'm resorting to good old email. (5) I have given my first midterm exam, and recorded each student's score for every question, giving my good flexibility for analyzing their comprehension. edited 15:42, 23 Sep 2014
Posted 15:42, 23 Sep 2014
Commenting on your assignment (it was hard to keep track of who said what). The photocopying everything idea is great! I started doing that just in case last year, and I'm so glad I did. I still need to take my big black marker to everything, but I think I will use some kind of numbering scheme to address the linking issue.
Posted 16:34, 27 Sep 2014
Update on Melissa RG’s project: (1) My IRB application was approved with exempt status a few weeks before the beginning of the semester! (2) Over the summer, I met with the professor who is teaching the same course but without the activities to see if he would be interested in participating in this study. He is excited to be involved in this study. Together, we wrote 20 additional questions for the pre assessment quiz that were in addition to the 3 IMCA concept inventory questions. After we wrote the other questions, we realized that several of them can also be used for the actual study (they deal specifically with the research material). (3) I met with the statistician over the summer and she is thrilled to be part of this study. She gave me great ideas on how we will ultimately analyze all of the data. She just completed a study in which she collaborated with a professor on a different research education study so she is quite familiar with doing these types of analyses. She gave me great ideas on how to recruit students for the interview. She suggested that I send her and the other colleague who is teaching the same class a list of my students taking the course. I will create 3 groups and add students to each group based on their performance thus far in the class. The group A will be students who have a score of 80-100%; group B a score of 60-79% and group C will be 59% or below. Then I will leave a box outside of the classroom on the day I ask for volunteers to do the interview. This way, I will not see who volunteers for the project. It must be noted that any student in my course can volunteer to do the interview. Hopefully, we will have students from each category volunteering to do the interview for the study. My collaborators will setup interviews with students from each of the 3 groups so they best represent all types of students in the course (assuming that I have volunteers from each group). (4) On day 1 of the semester, my collaborator and I each gave the pre assessment. We were excited to see that everyone chose to participate in the study. We are concerned that students guessed the right answer on many of the questions, especially the ICAT questions, without really understanding the question. Under each question, I had a sentence asking them how they chose the answer and most said they guessed. Should I be concerned with students having possibly better scores due to guessing on this pre assessment for both courses? (5) During the first 2 weeks of the semester, the students' did two collaborative group activities that I designed for the study. Approximately 15/60 students told my SI (supplemental instructional tutor) that they were not happy with the class because they felt that they would spend precious class-time having the “blind lead the blind” on group activity work. They did not like the idea that they were having to be responsible for reading ahead of time and synthesize the material during class. Though they complained, the average quiz 1 score was 83% which was the highest average I have ever had for that first quiz. I can only assume that the group activities improved their understanding of the material, despite the complaints. I must also say that students seemed very engaged during the activities! During the past two weeks, we moved more towards lectures with small group discussions on points, etc. During this time, I found that students were not coming to class well prepared and many could not even answer some basic clicker questions. Perhaps they were rushing for frats/ sororities during that time? I just gave the quiz 2 and found that many did not do as well as on the first quiz (have not finished grading…). I must note that some of this material that was on the quiz 2 was not directly part of the study. Overall, I am very much enjoying coming up with the collaborative group activities to help them understand the course material. I guess what I learned over this past month is that I need to break up activity work with some lecturing. I personally felt that I introduced too many group activities during the beginning of the semester! (6) As I almost started to grade the quiz 2, I realized that one of the questions directly related to the group activity I had created for the beginning of the semester (we completed that activity after quiz 1). I immediately made copies of the quizzes and just put those copies aside until a later time. Though I was not planning on analyzing quiz scores for this study, I thought this extra data might be useful.
Posted 21:53, 28 Sep 2014
Update on my project - IRB approval, informed consent and student interview questions are all done. The main subjects have taken the assessments, and so have the primary controls. Currently I'm in conversation with another instructor to line up a time for the secondary controls to take the assessment. Right now the pre-assessment and demographic information has also be collected and it's just a waiting game now. There course is going well, oral assessments are this week to determine if there is any verbal fluency differences, however I am more excited to see it all come together in the end.
I wish there was more to report but most of my exciting stuff comes later, one the subjective assessments are in for comparison. The cross group comparison is actually different than my original hypothesis but I'm not getting too excited until I see the secondary controls.
Posted 16:18, 29 Sep 2014
Hey Melissa RG - I don't think that you should be concerned that your students may have scored higher because of the guessing. I actually think that was an ingenious idea that you had them indicate it. you can use that data later to demonstrate that learning actually happened (a transition for 75% guessing to just 35%) or something else that is equally impressive. Keep trucking you're gonna do great especially if the statistician is able to point you in the right direction of how to look at the material more efficiently.
Posted 16:25, 29 Sep 2014
George - I think that it was noble of you to try to attend a stats class - have you learned anything that you can use? I'm not sure what blackboard that you're using but I use the "TRACK VIEWS" option and I think that it's helpful to see how many times the students have actually used the supplemental materials that I have posted for them. It may be annoying now but maybe it is something that you can look at once the semester comes to a close and it may give you some useful data.
Posted 16:28, 29 Sep 2014
Update on my project: (1) Still collecting data for my class; I added one new item- I asked the class what they wanted to see on the second exam. When I finished writing it, I looked at their requests and found almost complete agreement. Not sure what that means, but I find it encouraging. (2) The video/flipping is brilliant. Recording and editing them takes a lot more time than I had thought, but once they are done, that's freed up a tremendous amount of my time in class. Now I do applications of the material in every class period, which is a lot more fun for me and much more instructive for the students. I'm teaching the same subject next semester and will start off with all my lectures pre-recorded, allowing me to devote more energy to in-class exercises. I'm not ever going back to conventional lectures! (3) The "math part" of the class is done and I am keeping the narrative alive by having students research a set of proteins they selected based on the output of the math exercises- tying the math to signaling pathways, gene ontologies, and ultimately a mechanistic hypothesis for autism. Just collected the second exam, which included the math section, so I have some data to analyze for that. (4) I continue to attend stats class and take notes, but don't do the homework, reading, or exams. So I am informed as to what certain kinds of tests do, and can now see how many different tests there are, but can't run them myself. Winter break will be devoted to doing the analysis so I can meet the standard for ASM-CUE (I hope). (5) I found two undergrads who took stats and who are interested in helping me with the analysis of the fall class data, plus they'd like to help continue the research into the Spring semester class as well. We'll meet at the end of this semester to plan the winter break work and look ahead to Spring. (6) I have two faculty who can help me with stats as well. But I have no backups for doing the data analysis: my undergrads will have to do it. Conclusion: I am generally on track, but am still in the data collection phase. I won't know how good the study is until I actually look at the data. And I'm still a bit shaky on what it is I can actually prove or disprove with these data. Looking forward to hearing everyone else's updates!
Posted 12:34, 6 Nov 2014
Update on my project:
1. I am still collecting data for my class. So far, I have data from the pre- test assessment for both the control and experimental courses. I also have copies of quiz 2. I have not had a chance to begin analyzing any of that data! The students just took the second midterm but I have not yet had a chance to grade it. I feel that students came better prepared for this test then in previous semesters. I hope that means that the group activities were helpful.
2. I just met with my statistician and we came up with a great way to ask students to volunteer to be interviewed. I will tell them about this on Wed Dec. 3 when I know that every student should be there since they have an assignment due that day. I will tell them that interviews will take place on Sat Dec 6 and Sun Dec 7 from 10-12. This is 2 weeks before the finals. Ideally, it would have been better to do the interviews before Thanksgiving break but they did not finish learning about the central dogma and implications with cloning until midterm 2. As an added incentive, during those times, I will hopefully have my Supplemental tutor available to work with students in the waiting room. While waiting, they will get some great study time with the SI! This is how I will request students to be volunteered: I will give each student in the class a blank piece of paper and tell them that they must each fold the paper either blank or with their name on it and place it in the box. If they want to be part of the study (be interviewed) then they must write their name and email on the paper. Since everyone must put the folded paper in the box, I will not know who chose to take part in the study. I will then give the box to the statistician. She and my other colleague who is teaching the control class will choose students be interviewed based on them being either star, medium, or poor performers. We want to have a mix of students being interviewed. I suspect they will interview every volunteer. I just received my digital recorder today! I can't wait to learn how to best use it and then instruct my colleagues how to best to capture the student interviews.
3. My colleague (control class) and I will give the post-test the last day of class as previously described at the workshop.
4. My colleague and I will give 2-3 identical questions on the final that deal with the central dogma content. They will hopefully be the same question that I had on my final exam last year.
5. I will be busy analyzing data with my statistician over the winter break so that I have data to submit for the abstract. I still want to know if ALL of the data needs to be analyzed by the time of the submission for the abstract. My statistician will be unable to help me analyze all of the data by the end of Jan. She feels confident that we can analyze a part of the project by then.

George, your project seems like it is going well. Keep up the great work! I look forward to hearing about Melissa's project! edited 01:41, 18 Nov 2014
Posted 21:29, 17 Nov 2014
post assignment 6 (Melissa RG)

Hi all, I really enjoyed watching Erin Dolan's lecture on bio education research. Many things she discussed in the talk reminded me of what we learned at the institute. Since we are all in the midst of analyzing our research from last semester, it was great to be reminded of the key features regarding this type of research project. In particular, when she discussed "validity of measure" I started thinking more about what students discussed during the interviews. It almost seemed, at times, that some of my students were discussing all of the activities used in the class instead of the specific ones designed for the project. Were my students effectively analyzing this specific set of active learning exercises?

I also enjoyed watching Malcolm Campbell's lecture entitled "How I became a biologist." I did the last GCAT microarray workshop that Malcolm led so I personally know that he is a great professor. In fact, quite often, I use some of the animations that he designed for his molecular bio classes for my own courses. It was great to see that he was able to effectively transition to bio education research and also continue to do basic "low stress science" research projects with his students. This is a great lecture to watch because he inspires us to publish our research about novel teaching approaches.

Lastly, it was fun to watch Andrew Murray's lecture entitled "Giving back." After watching that video, it made me realize that what we do really does make a difference in the lives of our students! I know that when I grade finals every semester, I get so frustrated because of the time involved in grading those thought provoking questions. I always question why I make my life so difficult with these intense higher order level Bloom questions. It would be so much faster to do multiple choice tests! Once I finish grading and take some time to just relax, I do understand that my teaching does in fact help students become critical thinkers.
Posted 13:18, 16 Jan 2015
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