MSU researchers, in collaboration with the University of Michigan and other partners, are using a $1.2 million Science Education Partnership Award from NIH to introduce the program in Detroit and Flint.
Title: Conceptual Assessment in Molecular Biology
Abstract: Measuring students’ conceptual understandings has become increasingly important to faculty involved in evaluating and improving departmental programs. We developed the Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment (MBCA) to gauge comprehension of fundamental concepts in molecular and cell biology and the ability to apply these concepts in novel scenarios. Targeted at graduating students, the MBCA consists of 18 multiple-true-false (T/F) questions. Each question consists of a narrative stem followed by four T/F statements, which allows a more detailed assessment of student understanding than the traditional multiple-choice format. This talk will discuss the test development process as well as results from administration to more than 500 upper-division biology students. By pinpointing areas of conceptual difficulty, the MBCA can provide faculty with guidance for improving undergraduate biology programs.
Title: Studio Chemistry at CalPoly: An Examination of Student Outcomes
Abstract: Twenty years ago, a major curriculum revision at California Polytechnic State University led to the implementation of an integrated lecture/laboratory (studio) experience for our engineering students taking general chemistry. With the construction of our new Center for Science and Mathematics, completed in Fall 2013, the opportunity arose to construct four purpose-built studio classrooms to house nearly our entire general chemistry sequence for all students and to perform a detailed study of the effects of the entire ecology of the studio experience on student success. Data from content knowledge pre- and post-tests, learning attitudes surveys, and student course evaluations shows positive effects on student performance, the development of more expert-like learning attitudes, increased student engagement, and increased student-instructor interactions vs. our previous separate lecture and laboratory instruction. Our data also show our new peer Learning Assistant program increases student engagement while also having positive impacts on the Learning Assistants themselves.
Co-hosted by Lyman Briggs College and CREATE for STEM Institute