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.
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.
Students struggle with mastering concepts in microbiology. Journaling is a method that is documented to help students learn science courses. We implemented journaling recently and wanted to see if there is any significant impact after 3 semesters of collecting data.
Spoiler alert - nope, at least with the way we are implementing journaling currently. We are regrouping and will restructure the directions to hopefully guide students to be more successful in their journaling.
The allied-health/biology course sequence includes BIO56/181, BIO201, BIO202, and BIO205. A significant portions of students in these courses have the EMCC Nursing Program as their goal. Data have shown that only approximately 10% of pre-nursing students succeed in getting into the highly competitive EMCC nursing program. The fate of the remaining 90% of allied health students is unclear.
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 (
46 students took an exam with 50% multiple choice and 50% written. A t test showed no significant different between the grades from the 2 question types. Linear regression analysis showed an R squared value of .6. A student getting -8 on the MC, was likely to get close to a -8 on the written. This suggests to me that test preparation is more important than the type of question asked, but written portions will encourage additional development of writing skills.
Students do poorly on exam 1. Students participated in a study activity during one class period one week before exam 1. The activity emphasized novel presentation of material (puzzle), repetition, additional study time, interaction with other students and the instructor. The material studied accounted for about 50% of the first exam. Averages of the exam 1 did not differ from averages of 7 previous classes, but grades of A and B almost doubled in the activity group.