Comprehensive Assessment Tracking System

Critical Inquiry

Prelab for classes

Most chemistry labs are of the "cookbook" style, the labs are a series of steps to perform in the alloted time and not much thought goes into the performance.  The other option is to give students a problem to solve and then give them free reign to design a lab.  Many of the students have no idea where to begin the design phase of a lab and end up just looking up a cookbook lab and trying to make it work.  The other problem with the free reign option is safety and logistics with the laboratory prep.  Is it a safe lab?  Do we have the chemicals, glassware, equipment?

What's your favorite field in anthropology?

Every anthropology class starts with an explanation of anthropology and the fact that there are four main sub-fields in anthropology (i.e. Archaeology, Cultural, Linguistics, Physical.)  Each anthropologist specializes in one of these fields.  At the beginning of the semester each field is discussed, explained, and students are encouraged to think of examples of each.  After understanding the fields, they are asked which of the fields they think they would like best.

Critical Inquiry Assessment for Fall 2014

In FALL 2014 EMCC/SAAC conducted its semester assessment in Critical Inquiry, one of seven general education abilities at EMCC. Data was collected from 12 sections with 273 students in 2014, representing a 17% increase over 2011. Classes administrating the assessment included CIS, ECN, MAT, PSY, and SOC. The areas assessed were Observation/Question, Identifying Hypothesis/Explanation, Planning, Analysis, and Conclusion/Solution.  Of the 273 students, 33% were new freshman, 30% were freshman/sophomore and 37% were sophomore (down from 52% in 2011).

Bringing Labs into Differential Equations

The goal of these assessments was to engage students in hands on experiments similiar to a science lab.   Students always ask why differential equations is so important in STEM fields.  So, two labs were done in my differential equations class.  One was using thermometers and checking their accuracy (how long does it take for the thermometer to get back to body temperature after drinking cold water, doing jumping jacks, and chewing gum (placebo)).  The 2nd one was to verify that a mass spring system follows a 2nd order differential equation.

Sexuality and Critical Inquiry: Improving the Assessment

During Fall 2014, SOC 130 (Human Sexuality) particiapted in the SAAC Critical Inquiry Assessment. I have attached the assignment, the SAAC rubric, and the scores for the course. Students created a research project focusing on five areas (averages in parentheses): 1. question/observation (3.91)  2. hypothesis (3.46) 3. planning (3.18) 4. analysis (3.95)  5. conclusion (3.82). The lowest score was in the planning area which is the development of the survey questions which had to connect to testing their hypothesis.

Will Increasing The Number of Practical Examples of a Difficult Science Concept Improve Understanding?

Biology concepts like tonicity are difficult to grasp, especially for students in BIO100.Most students “get it” when a concept is applied to their lives. But the question is, will more practical applications translate to a better understanding of the concept?

Thermometer Accuracy

In my differential equations class, students ran an experiment on the accuracy of a nondigital thermometer.  Most directions for use of nondigital thermometers say to leave under the tongue for 2 minutes, so students tested the accuracy of this.   Three groups performed different activities for two minutes (cheweing gum (placebo group), jumping jacks, and drinking a cold refreshing beverage).  Students collected temperature readings every 30 seconds for 4 minutes.  Data was run through Logger Pro, and students analyzed data using best fit lines.

Does incorporating a kinesthetic assignment improve student learning of a complex topic?

Gene expression is a complex multi-step process that students struggle to learn. There are many terms to memorize and then students need to remember the functions and roles of all the molecular players and the order in which each molecule participates in the overall process. I currently use lecture, diagrams, animations, a worksheet and websites to teach this topic and I have also incorporated a hands-on lab using manipulatives where the students create their own working model of gene expression using yarn, foam pieces, pasta, playdoh, post-its and other random junk (see attached pics).

Ongoing and Varied Assessments to Promote Critical Thinking

In my EDU222 class, we are analyzing Special Education models.   Last term I presented on three models, set up in-class discussions, and had students write a research-based essay analyzing the 3.  This semester, I modified the cycle to include a  variety of formative assessments and ended with an in-class debate and essay. Students were much more analytical in their approach and were much better able to form their own conclusions as to what Special Education Model is most effective and why. The final result was that student took more ownership over their learning.

But I’m too young!! “A case study of ovarian cancer”

This clicker case study will be designed to use existing knowledge gained from class helping make connections between what they might consider separate concepts (chemistry, mitosis, genetics and cancer). This case study will allow student to plan and diagnose, treatment plan, analyze the results of the treatment plan and evaluate if this treatment plan would be ideal for this particular patient.

What I will assess: I will be assessing the comprehension of material to answer multiple choice questions assessing their knowledge of