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.
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.
Peer Lead Focus and Learning Review
Monitoring student engagement and learning during class & providing feedback is tough due to lack of time. One way to do this is Peer lead learning review; it monitors engagement and provides feedback.
The class was divided into six groups of four students; one student acted as a peer leader. The peer leaders were rotated after 3 weeks, allowing each group member to act as a peer leader.
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.
Introductory Biology for Allied Health, Bio 156, is a course many students take for the nursing major. This course teaches a number of concepts that are important and repeated throughout other biology prerequisite courses (Bio 201 Anatomy and Physiology I, Bio 202 Anatomy and Physiology II, and Bio 205 Microbiology), nursing block 1-4 courses, and the NCLEX, nursing certification exam. The purpose of this CATS is to question whether the concepts we teach are retained through the courses. We decided to pick one topic and study this process.
Having now completed 3 semesters teaching BIO 182 - General Biology II for Science Majors, the area consistiently identified by student surveys as in need of improvement is the "Quality of the Textbook." The book is expensive (>$100), and yet, I have observed that many/ most students do not read the supplemental chapters that align with lectures / activities / labs unless I assign end-of-chapter comprehension questions. Following being awarded a FRACTYL grant last spring, I have been developing an OER, consisting of a series of engaging, supplemental videos that focus on case studies (
Gen Ed Abilities assessment participation is low I developed customized scoring templates for each section to simplify data entry, automate tabulation, & streamline reporting by pre-populating term, instructor, course, section, and student ID. Outcomes:
At the end of the semester, students in BIO160 take a cumulative lab practical. A practical exam is set up in stations, the students physically move from station to station and has a “set up” from a lab. There are 2-3 questions for each station; the exam is timed. The first semester giving the practical, the scores were very low. In an attempt to improve the scores, I gave the students a review and the grades improved slightly. This has been the routine for a few semesters. At the end Fall16, I tried a practice practical. After an informal survey, I found only 2-3 had experience taki
While working in classroom, I found that students gravitated towards friends to create their team or learning community. This behavior created "clicky" groups in the classroom and I noticed silos of learning taking place. What I decided to implement in my classroom was randomizing the groups with Popsicle sticks. Each time we had a learning activity I used these sticks (that had a student name per stick) to randomly place the students into groups.