BL A260 Human Physiology, Prof. Stark
Fall 2009 Assessment Report

Material from the assessment form that was administered is in plain text.
Student replies and material added during analysis is in italics.

This is the course assessment, not the teacher evaluation ­p; those are administered by the department, are on-line, and are anonymous. Please reply to this e-mail by typing your replies in the appropriate places. In the event that you have comments you insist on having anonymous, write or print your comments and put them in my box.

My interpretation of the history of assessment
"Assessment" in Missouri spread after the mid 1980's "Value Added" program of Northeast Missouri State. It was originally intended "to reliably evaluate the quality of educational training." In April, 1998, SLU's Biology Department adopted a policy of having graduating majors take the Graduate Record Exam, interpreting "assessment" as "program assessment." On September 21, 2000, "each faculty member" was charged to "develop an outcome assessment tool." At this time, the interpretation was one of "student outcomes assessment." In December 2002, "course assessment" replaced "student outcomes assessment;" faculty were directed to collect information used to change or improve the course in keeping with SLU's web blurb on assessment [http://www.slu.edu/opdr/SLU_Assessment.html] ("Assessment results are utilized to improve courses and curriculum"). There is a link to the assessment reports I have prepared since assessment was mandated at SLU:
http://starklab.slu.edu/CV/Assessment.htm

In addition to being useful to me for teaching this course in the future, BME (the Department of Biomedical Engineering) makes use of this information for its accreditation.

Here are the stated objectives of the course:

BL A260 Human Physiology was created in 2004 by chairs of Biology and Biomedical Engineering (BME). It is the third and final biology requirement (after BIOL 104 & 106) for BME students. BME majors successfully completing Human Physiology will know systems physiology (homeostasis, circulation, respiration, digestion, nervous system, etc.) comprehensively at a level that does not have those prerequisites (biological chemistry and cell biology) needed for biology students.

"The course fulfilled these objectives."
1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree
Average=1.44

"I learned a lot in this course."
1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree
Average=1.44

Comments:

Your tests are wonderful! Thank you for being a professor who actually has expectations for his students. The short-answer format requires that we take the subject seriously and put in our time (cf. multiple choice). This can only help us.
Very interesting class. Spent hours pouring over the book and outlines to study for the tests. Fascinating test materials.
the level of detail taught and expected was much more than in earlier courses, but I think that is kind of expected in a course of this level
There was a lot of material but the knowledge I gained was massive


"This Human Physiology course is a good requirement for BME students."
1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree
Average=1.44

Comments:

Dr. Stark, you did a wonderful job of tying in this physiology class to other classes that BME students take, such as physics. It was very interesting to learn about the cell membrane as being a capacitor and resistor.
Helped fortify our base on biology.
I think that its a good overview course, but it seems like there isn't enough time for everything or the level of detail that might be necessary for BME applications, so maybe having a another semester might help
absolutely

"BIOL 104 was a useful course for BME students." (If not, what should be done?)
1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree
Average=1.56

Comments:

I suppose it was good to repeat information I already knew... but frankly this course was completely unfair: all the students who had AP BIO in high school aced the tests without trouble while those unexposed to the massive vocabulary of this topic floundered. So it was a nice refresher for me, and I am glad to have taken it. However, maybe in the future the multiple sections should be divided according to who has and who hasn't taken in-depth intro bio before. Since there are already enough people taking bio to require multiple sections, this shouldn't be too hard. Then those who struggle might have a chance with a nice curve and they wouldn't hinder the other section.
there was a more of a focus on animal systems, transcription, translation, etc., which seems more relevant
Prepared me well


"BIOL 106 was a useful course for BME students." (If not, what should be done?)
1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree
Average=2.13
Comments:

(The first "paragraph" is repeated from the above answers)
I suppose it was good to repeat information I already knew... but frankly this course was completely unfair: all the students who had AP BIO in high school aced the tests without trouble while those unexposed to the massive vocabulary of this topic floundered. So it was a nice refresher for me, and I am glad to have taken it. However, maybe in the future the multiple sections should be divided according to who has and who hasn't taken in-depth intro bio before. Since there are already enough people taking bio to require multiple sections, this shouldn't be too hard. Then those who struggle might have a chance with a nice curve and they wouldn't hinder the other section.
Learning about plants and ecosystems has little to do with my knowledge of biomedical engineering. I feel an anatomy class or something similar would be much more useful than learning about the structure of plants.
Some of the material pertaining to plants and ecology was not relevant to the BME major.
the amount of time spent on ecology and plant systems seems unnecessary. maybe this semester could be replaced with a more detailed look at some human / animal systems or other more relevant biology topics.
Require a different course with more of the focus on human biology.


"The selection of topics for emphasis was reasonable."
1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree
Average=1.88

Comments:

Interesting subject matter.
Some topics were very short such as the immune system


"The level of the textbook was appropriate."

1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree
Average=1.88

Comments:

The pictures always helped, but the text itself was never useful enough to bother reading.
Boring at times, fascinating at others.
I enjoyed how the textbook was not used as much, only to reinforce what was discussed in lecture.
at the very least the diagrams were very helpful supplements for the lectures
One of the best textbooks I ever had


"The level of the lecture coverage was appropriate."
1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree
Average=1.56

Comments:

If I was not preoccupied with being hungry for lunch, lecture was awesome-----like having your brain tickled. I have enjoyed Dr. Stark's humor, refreshing vocabulary (no one uses such great words in typical speech!), and abundant hand waving gestures.

"Having outlines on the web was useful."
1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree
Average=1.13

Comments:

I really would have done poorly in the class without these. I cannot possible listen with enough attention to understand the lecture adequately and take notes on it at the same time. Thank you for this resource.
Very useful, helped immensely when studying
they definitely helped in organizing for the exams
The outlines sometimes depended on the topic being present, a lot of my own work in relation to the textbook, adding to the outline was required for me


"Having applicable test questions from the last three years on each outline helped for learning and for studying for tests."
1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree
Average=1.31

Comments:

I haven't relied on them heavily yet, but I think they will form the basis of my review for the final. And they definitely ensured that I knew how to prepare for the first test. Again, thank you for providing them.
Very helpful, allowed me to test myself periodically.
These certainly were helpful, but the only drawback is that it allows students to modify their learning of content to the specific way in which the instructor chooses to test it. In other words, students can gloss over content that may be important, but not as frequently preferred as a test question by the instructor.
These helped me get a good understanding on what to study for each exam.
yes! that might have been one of the best study tools I had for this course.


"Having figures and condensed portions of the outline on PowerPoint presentations was appreciated."
1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree
Average=1.5

Comments:

absolutely
I am not talented enough to process so many different forms of input at once. I merely listen in class and go home to organize the outlines and flip through the chapters to learn from the images. I don't really try to follow the powerpoints at all unless I must to understand a figure to which Dr. Stark is referring (and that is hardly necessary since he describes everything for the benefit of the podcast).
Well organized

"Having lecture sound recordings on-line as PodCasts was appreciated."
1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree
Average=1.25

Comments:

Podcasts were useful.
I utilized the podcasts a lot in preparing for the tests.
Did not use them.
Well done, very unique style, wished all teachers done this
It was appreciated but I did not use them that often
Thank you for putting the podcasts online. They were very helpful


Make a statement about the relevance of SLU's 5 dimensions to this course and its assessment (http://www.slu.edu/opdr/Five_Dimensions.html)

They are quite relevant, and although there was no direct application of service/leadership, it gives the ground work to understand the human body, and helps enable a student to better serve in the future.
Human Physiology with Dr. Stark covers all the bases.
SLU's 5 dimensions applied to Physiology. We developed a well-developed educational foundation in this class as well as abilities of intellectual inquiry and communication. It's a very inclusive class that helps community building.
The many insights that you offered throughout the lectures (relating to your research, your life, or society in general) allowed us to better put course content in perspective.
To succeed in a class like this, it is essential to be very dedicated. You must keep up with the lectures so that you can be prepared for each test. This class also leads you to study with others and helps build study groups for not only this class, but for others as well.
This course definitely focused on the "Scholarship and Knowledge" and "Intellectual Inquiry and Communication" dimensions of SLU.
Only answered 3 of the 5 values
Where is the service?
Maybe a service trip to a school where the students could teach/ tutor high school biology students about body systems
Community Value
see above
This course worked to acheive all 5 dimensions in its own way.


Are there any topics you would like to be added to the syllabus in future years?

nope, i'm content.
No, I felt that the class was a comprehensive overview of everything in the textbook, and much of what I was curious about in physiology.
maybe something on the skeletal system or something that encompasses that. not 100% sure about that.
Yes
Lymphatic system
relates well to immune system
Physiology relating to childbirth
More lectures on the central nervous system
More emphasis on what things are prior to the explanation of how things work.


Are there any topics you think should be reduced or eliminated?

nope, twas a great class.
No, I think all the topics were covered very well.
not really. maybe the beginning of the energy lecture because that was covered quite extensively in BIOL 104
Reduce the amount of stuff on axon, personal non-favorite.
Reduce the vocabulary

Information

The class continues to grow. There were 31 students. 20 were sophomores, there were 7 juniors, 1 freshman, 1 senior, and several above this level.

One was listed in chemistry, one was called no degree, two were electrical engineering. The rest were BME

Plan for next year:

(1)
It is clear that only fine tuning will be necessary and these comments are useful

(2) The surprisingly positive comments on the 5 dimensions will encourage me to work further in that direction.

(3) The lowest score concerned the usefulness of Bio 106, and it may soon be time to discuss an alternate biology requirement for BME students

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this page was last revised 1/20/10