Practice Makes Perfect - skills and drills for metric conversions

Submitted by Rachel Smith on

Nursing students (those enrolled in BIO156) and STEM majors (those enrolled in BIO181) are often underprepared when it comes to math skills.  In BIO156/181 one of the places where this becomes evident is with conversion of measurements between units (e.g. milimeters to micrometers etc...).  We cover the metric system in one lab, take one quiz the following week and then move on.  Many students score badly on the quiz, and never really learn from it or improve.   By creating additional, optional, metric system worksheets I provided students an avenue to review and practice these kinds of math problems, either on their own, or with tutors.   Four worksheets were provided over a four week period to ensure students kept revisiting this topic and practicing this skill. Students were then given the option to retake a metric system quiz and replace their original grade. Students' scores increased by 70% (!) from 8.3/20 (an F) to 14/20 (a C).  HURRAH!!!!! Will I be doing this again?? You betya :)

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Average: 4.7 (7 votes)


Bronwen Steele Thu, 05/15/2014 - 1:42pm

A good example of how repetition helps us learn. So, the worksheets were optional, right? 

Heather Muns Thu, 09/11/2014 - 9:57pm

This is great info for all the BIO instructors.  I'm sure they struggle with these issues as well.  Did the students have to complete the worksheets in order to retake the quiz?  It is nice to see such a huge improvement.  

Peter Turner Tue, 09/16/2014 - 1:30pm

This type of repetition is strongly supported by the research. I especially like how you had a problem, tried something out, and based on the results will repeat it. That's the action research cycle!


Dwain Desbien Tue, 01/13/2015 - 10:41am

Nice example of using in repetion being useful in a class.