Comprehensive Assessment Tracking System

December 2017

How can we narrow the holes in the sieve?

BIO 201 is considered a ‘sieve’ class, in that it often weeds out the students who are not ready to advance to more difficult classes, and it is not uncommon for 40-50% of the class to fail, making the holes in the sieve rather large.

High school biology is the only prerequisite to enroll in BIO201 and it seems that students who have taken a BIO 156/181 prior to 201 have performed better.  To evaluate this observation, an informal survey was given to students to gather information about their previous biology experience.  

An Exam by any other name

My students always seem to be intimidated by the word exam. I wanted to see what and why this happens. I gave the students a "practice problem" on graphing functions based on algebra and calculus ideas. They were not allowed to work on it together, however I did not call it an exam. I wanted to see how they did knowing it was not an exam. The students performance on the "practice" was outstanding. There were small errors in the algebra but the overall concept was near perfect. Out of two sections, a total of 53 students, everyone scored 90% or better.

Communal Corrections: Facilitating Class-Led Peer Revisions in College Composition Courses

After several years of teaching writing, it is clear that revision is the most important and most difficult part of the writing process.  I have stopped the traditional process of partnering student up, trading papers, and having them make random corrections.  Now, we correct papers as a class, we have substantive discussions about decisions in writing, and my students are actually learning how to be better writers.  I have used this in my ENG101 and ENG102 courses at EMCC, but this can easily be used in any course that incorporates writing.  I think this would be extremely effective in dev