Comprehensive Assessment Tracking System

Muc A Paper - A blast from the past - an OLD EZ form!

Average: 5 (2 votes)
Monday, February 2, 2009 to Monday, April 8, 2013

The students apply knowledge obtained in lecture concerning genotype, mutations, and phenotype to an article about a mutant strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa - a frequent cause of pneumonia in cystic fibrosis patients. Traditionally they struggle with two questions in particular. For Sp 09 the average on the hw was 60%. In F09 I when I handed out the assignment I gave them 5 min at the end of class to discuss the questions with their buddy. I told them I was NOT going to give any answers, it was just time for them to brainstorm with a partner. They completed the assignment outside of class and turned it in for the next lecture. The average was 73% and for Spring 10 the average was 82%. Interestingly, I had forgotten I did this (I think being div chair knocked it out of my brain) and for this semester (Sp13) the average was back to 64%. Last semester I had an SI (a really good ex-student) who would work with the students right after class when they recieved their hw. The average was 75%. This emphasizes the importance of working/studying right after obtaining information in the classroom.

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PETAA00009's picture
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Bronwen, this is exactly what CATS is about! So, in Fall 13, will you do it as you did this spring, or will you do anything differently?

BROAA00004's picture
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I will definitely go back to the 5 min brainstorm, I am so surprised that I forgot all about it. I am SO GLAD I went back and looked at my old SAAC EZs. I went through all of them to see if there was something else like this I had missed, luckily there wasn't.

MARSL33291's picture
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I've noticed that including "brainstorming" time for math projects also increases students' understanding.  I think you're right, that working on a topic immediately after it's presented is key to retaining the main points.  I also think that the act of defending your viewpoint to a peer requires you to organize your information and ask examine questions you may still have about the subject.

ERIQF52091's picture
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Bronwen, I think you inadvertently made a fairly robust research design study: A-B-A-B (where “A” is the class without brainstorming, and “B” was the class with it).  It is clear that the “B” classes performed much better than the “A” classes.  I also appreciated how you include average grades on the assignment in your CATS form so we can see what an improvement they made.