BIOL 2600 Human Physiology, Prof. Stark, Fall 2015 Assessment

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

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 policy ("Assessment results are utilized to improve courses and curriculum"). Here 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:

BIOL 2600 Human Physiology was created in 2004 by chairs of Biology and Biomedical Engineering (BME). It is the third and final biology requirement (after BIOL 1040 & 1060) 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 = 1.41


very interesting and intuitive class, prereqs were not needed for success.

I feel I have been able to learn an incredible amount of material from this course, especially material in detail that was new to me.

The course was precise and to the point.

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

Average = 1.44


The course covered a lot of information in detail. I especially enjoyed learning about the heart since I want to become a Cardiovascular Engineering in the future!

I absolutely learned a lot. Not only were we taught the pathways and mechanisms but we were also taught extra material that applied to the subject such as disorders of that nature and drugs that interact with it.

This course is full of a lot of useful and interesting information. I feel I have learned a lot in this course.

organ systems are cool

Dr. Stark was very good at presenting the
knowledge that needed to be known, although at times I felt like memorization was emphasized.

"The selection of topics, the level of the textbook, and the level of the lecture coverage were reasonable."
1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree

Average = 1.41


What was expected of the students was challenging but not unreasonable by any stretch, so the level was good.

good examples for understanding

There was a lot of information covered; however, I expected that to be the case. I only looked at the textbook a few times.

I felt like it could be more clear, but the level was good.

Topics were well rounded; exactly what I need to know to move on in college. I never used the textbook. Although, it was a lot of information.

I am a reading-the-textbook learning style kind of person. When the lectures don't match with the order of the book it really threw me off in learning the required information for the course. But the information presented was reasonable!

"Having outlines, test questions, PodCasts, and .pdf's of slides on the web worked well for you."
1. strongly agree 2. agree 3. disagree 4. strongly disagree

Average = 1.29


Getting to listen to the lectures a second time provides a great deal of benefit. The enormous list of accompanying questions and outline points also lets the student test themselves to see to what degree they understand the material.

This was the most helpful part of this class. I wish more teachers did this.

Having these resources on the website helped a lot!

The organization of the class worked really well for me.

pdfs and test questions were essential for me

These were my main sources of learning in this class.

I prefer to actually sit down and read a hardcopy. That is the type of learner I am. I prefer not to look at a screen and try not to spend as much time on the computer; therefore, I printed out the test questions and studied them.

Again, I loved having all of these materials but I am a textbook reader. Having these resources really helped when studying old test questions, but when I tried to match it to the book it became really difficult to sort the information.

There was too much randomness to this course. It didn't feel like there was a logical flow between material under each major topic.

Make a statement about the relevance of SLU's 5 dimensions to this course and its assessment

All as one comment

This course makes you think and even though the tests are 50 fill in the blank questions, I liked it. Having a test in this format made the students study extra hard to make sure they understood the material inside and out. I had a study group for this course and we learned from each other.

I think this course applies to all of these. Especially with the videos shown at the beginning of class!
This course portrays these dimensions accurately and well.

This course utilized all 5 SLU dimensions.


1. Scholarship and Knowledge

I was challenged to work diligently to obtain the new material presented in this course in order to be successful.

This course made me study hard and learn a lot.

scholarship and knowledge definitely contributed to the course

This course offered a lot of facts to improve knowledge

I gained a vast amount of knowledge in this class.

2. Intellectual Inquiry and Communication

course opened my eyes and made me curious to other things I can learn in relation to physiology

We were encouraged to ask questions during and after class and had a day before each test entirely dedicated to answering questions

This course had sometimes difficult information and talking it through with other students sometimes made it easier to understand a concept.

being able to talk to other classmates about the information presented in class so that one can gain a better understanding or a new perspective on how to look at the information.

This class promoted discussion and understanding of material between students.

3. Community Building

I was able to build some friendships while working on this class with others in my major.

Course encouraged group studying

Again, studying with other students was helpful

4. Leadership and Service

course encouraged taking charge and leading others to study with you to learn the material

This class did not have much to say about these topics.

5. Spirituality and Values

catholic values discussed in relation to subject matter

Each class started with a video in reference to some moment in history or culture.

course was useful for increasing intelligence which is a core value

What changes would you propose for next year?

I thought this class was done well. All materials needed in order for us students to learn was provided. More then enough sources were provided in order to allow student to fully learn what was expected of us.

No changes required for this course!

no changes. just recommending students to watch youtube videos of physiological concepts

Post the "homework" on the website, instead of just saying it.

Making the course a little more hands on might be more interesting.

I would suggest some kind of small periodic review throughout the semester because with the amount of material covered, it can be easy to start to forget material learned for previous tests.

I would integrate more problem solving or interactive worksheets in the class to help the students grasp and uinderstand the material better.

My only changes would be to have more detailed powerpoint slides

I felt there was not much of a community for this class. If this class had in class assignments and was more interactive, then more people would go to class and be engaged.

Maybe if its possible, eliminate some information thats not as necessary, and emphasize more on important topics.

More relevancy to the book. Or a study guide of sorts that relates to the order the lectures are infor us reading and highlighting learning style people.

I'd propose that the book is used more directly and that lectures follow this sequence of topics. I know there is overlap between chapters involving different topics that relate to the same thing but if each major topic(chapter from book) is taken one at a time I think this course will be easier to manage and more beneficial.


59 students completed the course, one was a freshman, most were sophomores, 12 were juniors, 2 were seniors.

All were biomedical engineering (BME) except two, one "electrical engineering," one "deciding" and one biology

There were 3 tests (50 points) and a final (75 points), all short answer
Test 1, average=28.06, high=46, low=12
Test 2, average=28.17, high=48, low=4.5
Test 3, average=34.03, high=47, low=7
Final, average=42.3, high=69.5, low=11.5

Course curve was generous, 3.27, as in previous years. My policy has been that this service course, delivered from Biology to BME should not strong-arm BME for its student retention

That the top scores were near 100% proves that the material can be mastered. The fact that the low scores were about 10% shows that the material was challenging, also, perhaps, that there were some students who did not belong in this course or in this major.

17 students replied to the survey, 42 did not (in one call, one reminder, and one final reminder). No student was negative to the course on the basis of comments or scores.

A comment

Since this course has so many web materials, many students stop coming to class, and this includes students who do well in the course.

Changes proposed for next year

The comments were positive and only fine-tuning is required

There was a very useful suggestion to "post" the "homeworks," (the locations of questions that would be used).

For the first time, there were several comments from students who would have appreciated more use of the book. To address this scholarship, I propose frequently reminding students that the outlines direct the students to the figures and figure numbers. This could be useful since students probably look ag the pdf's to the exclusion of the outlines.

Follow-up on previous assessments

Last year, there was a consensus that some participation, quizzes, homework, etc would help. In reply, I announced, in each lecture, a link to where I would take one previous year's question verbatim. As a result, there were no similar follow-up comments, suggesting that problem was addressed successfully.

From earlier years: There were more demonstrations, as requested, and they were appreciated, and yet more might be desired

From earlier years: There was a video before every lecture, and, again, some students expressed their appreciation

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this page was last updated 12/14/2015