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Type: Journal article
Title: A progressive assessment strategy improves student learning and perceived course quality in undergraduate physiology
Author: Saint, D.
Horton, D.
Yool, A.
Elliott, A.
Citation: Advances in Physiology Education, 2015; 39(3):218-222
Publisher: American Physiological Society
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1043-4046
Statement of
D. A. Saint, D. Horton, A. Yool, and A. Elliott
Abstract: In 2010, second-year physiology (n = 165) had a traditional single 3-h end-of-semester exam. To provide diagnostic feedback earlier, for students enrolled in 2011 (n = 128), we incorporated an in-class exam at 3 wk in addition to the final exam. Based on initial analysis and positive student comments, for the 2012 cohort (n = 148), we expanded this to incorporate four 1-h in-class exams every 3 wk plus a short final integrative exam. Average scores from exams and questionnaires (student evaluations of learning and teaching, 10 questions) were compared among 2010, 2011, and 2012 cohorts. We also compared scores in the practical component of the course, which had a constant format for all cohorts. Data are given as means ± SD; statistical analyses were done with unpaired two-way Students t-tests. From 2010 to 2012, there was a significant improvement in total exam scores (59.7 ± 15.8 vs. 68.6 ± 14.2, P < 0.001) but no significant change in total practical scores (72.3 ± 9.0 vs. 74.4 ± 10.2, P = 0.05), indicating that the rise in exam score was not due to higher academic abilities of the 2012 cohort. Overall mean student evaluation of learning and teaching responses (4.9 ± 0.4 vs. 5.3 ± 0.3, P = 0.015) and overall percent broad agreement (66.0 ± 8.0 vs. 79.2 ± 7.5, P = 0.003) indicated a significant improvement in student satisfaction. In conclusion, both learning outcome and perceived course quality were enhanced by the increased frequency of examinations, possibly by promoting consistent student study habits.
Keywords: assessment
Rights: Copyright © 2015 The American Physiological Society
RMID: 0030035426
DOI: 10.1152/advan.00004.2015
Appears in Collections:Physiology publications

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