This syllabus research project is an example of assessing learning practices to enhance learning environments at the classroom, program, and college level. I learned from student success literature that often, underrepresented students will not ask for exceptions to syllabus policies while their counterparts will, thus creating unintentional equity gaps with class syllabus policies. I studied various course syllabi from EMCC classes to see how my policies compare. I then surveyed EMCC faculty and students about the course syllabus.
As evidenced in multiple CATS written about journaling in STEM, faculty from chemistry, physics, calculus, and biology utilize journals to improve students' deeper level of learning. Critical thinking skills and written communication skills (EMCC ILOs) are important in STEM. I want to ensure my students leave my own course ready and prepared for the other STEM courses. Also, these journals are used to asses physics' classroom learning outcomes. Please see attached documents for sample survey results and journal entries.
Using discussion protocols in a live online learning format promotes independent student collaboration and engagement in group discussions through quality instruction and student support. In conjunction with the use of Google documents and live online breakout rooms (Zoom, Webex, or Google Meets), protocols drive independent student discussion and collaboration using a set of guidelines that include student roles and responsibilities. Discussion protocols also allow for fostering student-to-student relationships and for providing immediate real-time feedback by faculty.
Hypothesis: Learning modality change is related to a decline in student success as measured by scores for BIO205 prerequisite gene expression knowledge.
The Life Sciences Division created a divsion level assessment. Though some biology courses were not able to complete the assessment due to the COVID19 response, results show an increase in score from lower level biology courses to higher level courses.
The LS division instituted the use of embedded tutors in our nursing track courses, BIO 156, 181, and 201. We compared grades between our courses with the embedded tutors to our previous courses without an embedded tutor. The results are mixed. There seems to be little change in successful course completion however there were larger differences in average scores. The timing of this intervention must also be mentioned as it coincides with the great online migration.
A hybrid BIO 181 was developed and first implemented in fall 2019. Grades and completion rates of this course are compared to the second hybrid offering with an embedded tutor as well as a past face to face offering. The first hybrid showed the lowest average grade for the class with the highest % successful completion rate while the second hybrid with and embedded tutor showed the highest average grade for the class. The face to face class had an average grade in the middle of the two hybrids but showed the lowest % successful completion.
Through conversations with the tutors, a desire was discovered to be better. The tutors know their material very well but wanted to see if there was a way to improve on their delivery style and customer service. I introduced the concept of continuous quality improvement (CQI) which is a culture of never-ending improvement. The assumption is that unless we learn something about what we are doing, we are unlikely to know how to improve it.