BL A260 Human Physiology, Prof. Stark
Fall 2011 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 [] ("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:
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.

see sunnary of questions, responses, and comments
some of the comments were cut off, find them here

There were 27 students. 19 were sophomores, there were 7 juniors, 1 senior, and one with no degree or level.
One was listed as Mechanical Engineering, one was Biology. The rest were BME
In keeping with previous years, the course was curved generously (at 3.48 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:
It is clear that only fine tuning will be necessary and these comments are useful.
(2) The endocrine lecture should be broken into endocrine, signally transduction, and possibly one other topic.
(3) The comments on the 5 dimensions suggest that these students consider the 5 dimensions to be irrelevant for science courses.

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last updated December 20, 2011