BL A260 Human Physiology, Prof. Stark

Fall 2010 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; 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=1.23

 

"I learned a lot in this course."

1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree

Average=1.38

 

Comments:

 

Material was covered very effectively throughout the semester.

 

Knew a good amount of material before class.

 

There was a lot of information presented in the course at a very good pace.  I learned a lot, and all of the information seemed relevant and applicable to BME.

 

Probably one of the most interesting biology courses I have ever taken.

 

I would have said strongly agree, but there is a lot of material that I fear can be forgotten once the final is over (if the information isn't used much in future work).

 

 

"This Human Physiology course is a good requirement for BME students."

1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree

Average=1.31

 

Comments:

 

I learned a lot pertaining to my career goals as a BME, for

example, how all of the systems interact with each other.

 

Not only was material from the textbook presented, but there were also outside articles presented.  All of this information seemed relevant to BME.

 

"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=1.75

 

Comments:

 

I learn better in a smaller class. I believe there should be

a separate freshman biology section for BME students, like this

physiology course.

 

BIOL 104 went through a lot of information that was important to learn.  However, it would have been nice to have a class like physiology which was composed of just BME students so that topics most relevant to BME could be emphasized.

 

It was good in giving a good overall background in biology but it may be more productive in the future to have a BME specific introduction course.

 

 

"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=2,2,2,2,2,2,2,1,1,3,3,3

Comments:

 

The coverage on plants, communities, and evolution are all completely irrelevant to BME majors.

 

I learn better in a smaller class. I believe there should be

a separate freshman biology section for BME students, like this

physiology course.

 

 it was just really hard to take withall of the other challenging classes

 

BIOL 106 went though important information, but not all of the course content seemed applicable to BME.

 

Did not give any relevance to our field and for most was just a pre-med or graduate school requirement.  Again a course that could go into more depth about the human body and the role BMe's play in the treatment of it.

.

 

"The selection of topics for emphasis was reasonable."

1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree

Average=1.38

 

Comments:

 

All of the appropriate topics were emphasized.

 

"The level of the textbook was appropriate."

 

1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree

Average=1.54

 

Comments:

 

Diagrams and captions helped me to further my understanding

of the given topic.

 

Textbook was at a good level and had good diagrams.

 

but no need for textbook...besides looking at pictures

 

"The level of the lecture coverage was appropriate."

1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree

Average=1.38

 

Comments:

 

 we covered a lot of material but it was all very relevant

 

Covered lots of information in lecture at the appropriate pace.

 

While I believe all of the information covered was

important, there was a lot of memorizing to do for the final.

 

"Having outlines on the web was useful."

1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree

Average=1.27

 

Comments:

 

This was incredibly helpful because I could read the outline

as the teacher was talking instead of trying to write down every word

he said: a much more effective way of learning.

 

it really helped with studying try to suggest future students to get the online version of the textbook to correspond with the notes

 

Outlines from website were extremely helpful.  I really liked how they were all posted at the beginning of the semester so that you could access any of the lectures at any time and prepare for class.  The links to outside websites on the outline were also useful.

 

Sometimes the outlines did not match the lecture and were often a little disorganized in terms of the coherency of the information on the outline when compared to what the prof was saying in class.

 

Sometimes things are worded in a confusing way, but overall the notes are useful.

 

"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=1.23

 

Comments:

 

The test questions were very useful and helped a lot with studying.

 

 this was my favorite part of the course i actually enjoyed doing them

 

It is often difficult to study for a test if you don't

understand the format. The test questions gave me a good understanding

of what to expect on test day.

 

"Having figures and condensed portions of the outline on PowerPoint presentations was appreciated."

1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree

 

Average=1.17

 

Comments:

 

PowerPoint slides were easy to view, and the figures presented were always helpful.

 

 this really helped me learn but maybe try to put the transparencies as a hyperlink or make it accessible after class

 

Figures are a great way to visualize what you are learning.

 

 

"Having lecture sound recordings on-line as PodCasts was appreciated."

1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree

Average=1.38

 

Comments:

 

Probably the most helpful part of the lectures since it was impossible to write everything down while the lecture was going on.

 

I wish that I had discovered the value of the podcasts

earlier in the semester. Listening to them for the third exam really

helped me to absorb the information when I heard it for a second time.

You can also pause or rewind in case you didn't hear it clearly the

first time.

 

 

The PodCasts were extremely helpful.  The PodCasts always helped when I was reviewing my notes from class and realized that I had missed something in my notes.  It was so easy to open the PodCast and listen to the lecture to study.

 

These were useful for classes that I had to miss because of traveling!

 

 i would agree for some students but i preferred to just listen to the original lecture on that day

 

Especially for those days when I am absent. However, in my mind, an uploaded PowerPoint would be a good addition.

 

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)

 

 Related to "Scholarship and Knowledge"

 

this course helps me understand the body so i can find cures in the future to benefit mankind and cure the sick

 

Only Scholarship and knowledge is relevant to this course.

 

Scholarship and knowledge, intellectual inquiry, and spirituality and values are all relevant in this course.  The first allows the student to master his/her field.  The second is achieved by giving the student tools to ask more profound questions (although, there is not much room for enhancing communication skills in a lecture course).  The third is relevant to the course when it comes to ethical issues.

 

N/A

 

The first two dimensions were fulfilled by this course

 

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

 

I felt that the topics covered a sufficient amount of information.

 

There were not any syllabus additions or deletions I would make, everything seemed to be placed just right

 

 Not that I can think of.

 

I think the class covered a wide variety of topics, there are a few topics that we could have gone more in depth into but I think that because of time, the topics selected were appropriate for the class

 

No

 

More brain

 

No.  All of the topics covered were excellent.

 

 the vision lecture was my favorite

 

 I think we cover an appropriate amount of information and adding any other topic would prevent the depth of coverge we

 

Maybe it was because I couldn't locate it correctly, but it would be helpful to have the powerpoint slides (not just the outlines) online because having those pictures/graphs that are shown in class are not easily obtainable online (or at all?)

 

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

 

No.

 

Nope!

 

Hormones could be reduced. Too many to really retain.

 

break up the endocrine lecture because its so much information and probably the hardest material to understand

 

No

 

Nope, great course with a great instructor. I was able to read the teaching philosophy of this professor on his personal website and was thoroughly impressed with the approach and teaching style of the professor. Overall very satisfied with the course.

 

No, I think all the topics we covered were important.

 

I didn't like the order in which the information was presented. It

seemed to jump around quite a bit. I would recommend going in the

order of the book.

 

Information

 

There were 29 students. 17 were sophomores, there were 8 juniors, 1 freshman, 2 senior, and one with no degree or level.

 

One was listedas,  as deciding, one was called no degree, two were electrical engineering. The rest were BME

 

In keeping with previous years, the course was curved generously (at 3.06 this year). For each test and for the course grade, the lowest grade was C-. The best exam scores were usually near 100%. The generosity of the curve is witnessed since the lowest exam scores were around 20%. It is not my intention, while teaching a service biology course for BME students, to grade in a way that has a negative impact on BME retention. Importantly, the fact that some students have low scores indicates that mastery of this course material is challenging. That many students do well consistently indicates that this challenging material is presented so that it can be learned.

 

Plan for next year:

 

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

 

(2) Students should be given a lesson up-front on how to find the text╣s figures on line.

 

(3) I should scan and link the dozen or so transparencies from the introductory biology book that I show.

 

(4) The endocrine lecture should be broken into endocrine, signally transduction, and possibly one other topic.

 

(5) The comments on the 5 dimensions suggest that these students consider the 5 dimensions to be irrelevant for science courses.

 

(6) A low score concerned the usefulness of Bio 104, although BME students want their own section, the Biology Department simply does not have the resources for that.

 

(7) The lowest score concerned the usefulness of Bio 106. I will initiate discussion of dropping this requirement.

 

 

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this page was last revised 1/20/10