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Table of contents
        1. 1.1.1.1. Overall SOLO levels
        2. 1.1.1.2. Essay questions 2004 & 2005
        3. 1.1.1.3. Grade Distributions
  1. 2. 3. Where to?
            1. 2.1.1.1.1.1. To do
            2. 2.1.1.1.1.2. Potential problems

I have implemented this approach in the microbiology units that I teach, to an extent, and have evaluated the approach in a number of ways: student opinions of their own learning, peer observation of teaching, my self reflection of the teaching and learning activities and comparing final grades versus level of assessment in the exam. I have evaluated exams (for years before and after the introduction of EBL) according to the SOLO taxonomy and this has indicated that student grade distributions are similar, but the level of assessment has increased.

Results     

Overall SOLO levels

  

Overall SOLO level in final exams

Year

2

3

4

2004

41

27

32

2005

20

29

51

2006

31

21

48

SOLO

2 = unistructural

3 = multistructural

4 = relational

5 = extended abstract

See the attached spreadsheet (exam comparison) for a description at how I determined the SOLO levels in exams.

Essay questions 2004 & 2005

2004:

Write an essay describing the biogeochemical cycle of nitrogen. Within the context of your essay define the terms reservoir, compartment and flux. Use your description of the nitrogen cycle to evaluate and explain the effects of lake stratification on nutrient cycling. In this context, you should explain why different types of nitrogen metabolism will likely be important at different depths of the water column.

2005:

Figure 1:Cross section of a lake in summer with various factors noted in numbered boxes.

Examine the diagram in figure 1 above and write an essay that shows that you understand the impacts or effects of each of the numbered boxes and how they are all interrelated. Your essay should also include a comparison of what these factors are likely to be doing in winter where this is also the rainy season. For the purposes of this essay assume that the summer is hot with little or no rain.

Grade Distributions

       

  

Grade distribution in Applied Environmental Microbiology

Year

Enrolled

HD

DN

CR

PP

TP

NN

2001

33

3

7

6

9

3

5

2002

26

0

5

12

5

0

4

2004

14

0

2

3

3

3

3

2005

17

0

4

5

3

2

3

2006

24

1

4

9

8

1

1

        

3. Where to?

To do

Apply SOLO evaluation to student answers to confirm or not cognitive level data.

Greatly increased student engagement with content:

  • self, peer, my observations.
Potential problems
  1. Content reduction is large.
    1. Concerns me and colleagues.
      1. crux: cognitive load associated with learning process vs content.   
      2. Importance of scaffolding.
    2. Learning objectives emphasise content or process?
  2. Students MUST be taught how to learn the discipline.
    1. Clear signposting within course needed.
  3. Why do some students struggle?
    1. Where do they come from?
  4. Extension to larger classes difficult?
Tag page

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 Exam comparison.xls
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72 kB02:06, 7 Aug 2008cburkeActions
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