BL A347 General Physiology Laboratory, Prof. Stark
Spring, 2008 Assessment

Form in plain text, answers and future plans in italics

This is the course assessment, not the teacher evaluation - those are given on line. Please fill in below.

For your information
"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." On September 21, 2000, "each faculty member" in Biology was charged to "develop an outcome assessment tool." Even at this time, the interpretation was one of "student outcomes assessment." In December 2002, "course assessment" replaced "student outcomes assessment," and faculty were directed to collect information used to change or improve the course, in keeping with SLU's web blurb on assessment:

Here are the objectives of the course:

Students completing this laboratory will have their learning experience for Human Cellular Physiology (BIOL 454, the pre- or co requisite) supplemented, reinforced and extended. Students will acquire and analyze data on neuromuscular, cardiac, respiratory and excretory systems. Skills such as calculations with spread sheets, preparation of scientific reports, and image analysis of physiological data will be emphasized.

"The course fulfilled these objectives."

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



The topics covered in this course were helpful in my physio class but I didn't feel the course was very organized and the questions at the end of the labs weren't helpful - especially since we never went over them.

Some of the learning experience and analysis was hindered or made difficult due to equipment malfunctions.

I liked most of the labs. The EKG ones were confusing or hard to determine the numbers though.

"These objectives were reasonable."

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



The information the laboratory attempted to convey to the students were very insightful and helpful not only in a clinical sense but also helped supplement Physio lecture.

The obejctives were challenging, but very reasonable.

(New, 2008) "Having a lab notebook, with its step by step instructions and clearly spelled out exercises, was appreciated."

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



Our lab notebooks were definitely helpful and well put together.

The lab notebook was easy to follow, however, some sections were too wordy.

I felt the lab notebook was a little confusing and could be explained in simpler terms though

Step-by-step instructions were very helpful and the notebook format made finding labs easy and organized. However, at times instructions did not necessarily correspond to the program.

The lab notebook as well as the online outlines were extremly useful in lab and to study for the exams.

It was difficult to follow the lab notebook at times.

The book was not organized in order. The assignments we did were on a mac and not a pc so that made the lab notebook almost useless. There was no follow up on the questions after each assignment, so I didn't know whether I learned concepts properly or not.

That was very nice, kept me organized. Thanks.

In theory it's a good idea but I think it will be more helpful for future classes. I think we had more problems with our lab notebooks than usual because of the software transition.

I found the lab notebook to be an important tool. I liked that when a lab needed to be changed Chrissy took her own time out to redo the lab and print us all out copies.

"Having a web site for data, outlines, and previous exam questions was useful"

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



The website wasn't very well organized or easy to navigate

I think it would be useful to post the powerpoints/figures, because the students who are not currently taking the lecture may not still have their book

The website is well organized with a lot of useful information. It would be nice, though to have access to powerpoint presentations before coming to class so as to able to take notes better, understand the material better and thus be able to analyze lab data better.

Out of date, most of the pages were from 2006

The lab notebook as well as the online outlines were extremly useful in lab and to study for the exams.

There is a big mess between the old course outlines and the new course outlines. There are some stuff included in past years that aren't included in this years outline and those things are sometimes very useful this year even though not posted under this year. The results that you often posted are in a very very confusing manner. Why can't you just post them as an excel file or make a table on microsoft word and paste that into the link you put up. Putting dashes and commas between a hundered data points is just probably difficult for you and for the people who try to interpret them.

Awesome, again kept me organized.

saves time

"This selection of labs provides a foundation relevant to systems physiology and to the objectives of this course."

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



I felt like some of the lab exercises within the same lab were very similar and sometimes felt redundant doing them. Perhaps, it would be better to give shorter tables to fill out so that the information can be taken in while doing the experiment. When we are rushing to finish the tables, it gets kind of difficult to take in all of the info.

The only lab which seemed inadequate was the sensory lab. So much information was given to us so quickly, that, to me at least, I could not fully appreciate what I was doing in lab because I did not know what was going on, nor did I fully understand the what and why of the phenomena I saw.

The lab covers the material discussed in class, however it would have been useful to have the lab and class better coordinated so that the lecture on a topic was prior to the lab.

(New, 2008) Interactive Physiology was optional
"It was good that laboratory time was not dedicated to inquiry-based exercises."

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



I am not really sure what this is saying...

I don't know what a inquiry based exercise is, but I liked the labs as they were.

Those types of exercizes get rather boring quick. All our labs were interesting and grasped my attention.

"Lectures were helpful in supplementing Human cellular physiology and in orienting to the day's lab."

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



The lectures were too scattered and general to be helpful - especially since we hadn't had any background in the topic from lecture yet. They were also unfairly represented on the tests

Though, for lectures that were also not covered in physio lecture with Dr. Russel, learning brand new information for the first time did not help in understanding the corresponding lab.

N/A I didn't take the class

Lab lectures were good but I believe they would serve better if given after the class lecture instead of before.

There have been several lecture test questions that I knew thanks to the lab

The lectures, however, did not always correspond with the labs.

They weren't helpful in working with the lab for that day, but they did provide some good background information for that day. Sometimes they were too long. It seemed like you were trying to fit the whole physiology course into an hour.

Helped out to understand lab, but also wasnt too long... so good job.

Sometimes the lectures seemed to be too much

Lab went ahead of lecture probably. I wouldn't know since I wasn't in physiology.

(New 2008) Weekly quizzes with 10 questions like the exam questions were eliminated based on assessment feedback from previous years.

"Overall, in the context of meeting the learning objectives, the basis of grading (tests, lab reports, completion of notebook worksheets) was acceptable."

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



Although I would have liked to review the questions at the end of the labs to make sure I had a full understanding of what was being asked.

I will be honest, the fact that the lab questions were not graded for accuracy did not lead to me understanding the lab any better. I am sure a majority of the answers I wrote down were not correct. For me to fully understand the lab I sometimes used internet research to find the correct answer and analyze the data. I did this for understanding Mean Arterial Pressure and the Leaky Glomerulus lab as far as I can remember.

most worry free lab I've had at SLU

Maze is the best

(New 2008) iWorx was available for use on Mac laptops.

"This new equipment was appreciated."

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



When it worked it was great

When the equipment worked, it worked really well.

The equipment was great but sometimes not very accurate in taking measurements.

There are still a few bumps to iron out with the directions but overall, the equipment worked great.

There were still a few kinks to be worked out, but the technology was extremely helpul in completeling the lab exercises in a timely fashion.

too many glitches and problems. maybe in another year you guys will know how to handle it.

very NICE!

new equipment has great potential

This equipment was amazing. This was one of the only labs that I looked forward to going to going over my entire SLU career.

I prefer PC usually though.

(renewed authorization 2008)

"Having one lab dedicated to mice run by the Department of Comparative Medicine was appreciated."

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



I thought the mouse lab was unnecessary and since it didn't work it was a waste of the mouse's sacrifice.

I wish however we could have done more with the experiment with the mice....

Very fun lab.

cool lab

That was so cool!!, I wish it would have worked better though with the glucagon and insulin.

this was my favorite lab

This was my favorite lab. I think there should be more like this one.

interesting experience

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


The 5 dimensions were touched upon or learned during the time frame of the course and it was a very interesting way to learn. I am not sure if all of them can be incorporated into a science course but it definitely served its purpose.

This course was benefical.

The class certainly meets with the first three dimensions of scholarship, intellectual inquiry, and community. The small size of the class helped form classroom relationships in which students aided each other throughout the class period to complete and understand the lab. The last two dimensions of leadership and spirituality were not touched upon as much in the class, possibly because of the nature of the course.

The research papers in the class allowed us to exercise "intellectual inquiry and communication," as we had to apply the knowledge we learned in lab and express our ideas clearly in a paper.

Honestly I think this course can only really apply towards the scholarship, community, and intellectual inquiry tenents. I 'm not saying this is a bad thing, its just that I don't see how this class contributes to leadership qualities and personally believe that spirituality is best practiced outside the lab. We were still exposed to ethics but thats not spirituality
Scholarship and intellectual injuiry were upheald throughout this lab experience. The lab that included anmial ethics and training was also central to SLU's policy of spriituality and values.

This course helps with obtaining knowledge and developing intellectual inquires, but it has nothing to do with community building, leadership, or spirituality.

added to scholarship/knowledge.

What changes would you propose for next year?

The lab should be better organized (all of the labs should actually work) and the lectures should be eliminated - maybe a handout at the end of lab the week beforehand would be more useful and time efficient.


Smaller experiments but touch on a variety of things...also as mentioned before, less tables to fill out during experiments would help take in all of the information better.


I think the papers and exams should be spread out. It is difficult to write the scientific paper and study for the exam at the same time.

I would not eliminate the lectures but I would shorten them and keep them to the point

I feel that once the kinks are ironed out of the equipment and proper instructions are written up, physio lab will be an incredibly interesting and useful experience.

Make sure that all the labs work out smoothly beforehand.

Have the lectures follow class lectures. The mouse lab was definitely the most interesting and applicable to the lecture. The Advanced Pulmonary Lab was the least engaging.

couldnt think of a thing

I thoutght that the lab was very enjoyable.

I would propose doing less experiments using the computers. A lot of the time was spent trying to figure out how to use them rather than applying the experiment to physiological systems.

shorter lectures

I want less lecture time and more lab time. I want powerpoints to be actually posted. It is easy to convert them to pdf and post them. I want a the teacher to go over the answer to the questions that we do as post lab.

Not much, I had a great time, and learned quite a bit.

Give students a grading rubric for lab write ups in advance so they know exactly what they are being graded on.

None. More labs at SLU need to be structured like this. Again this was one of the only neat labs that I actually wanted to go to. The freshman labs I found to be extremely boring and the experiments were rather dull.


There were 19 students, one fourth of them juniors, the rest seniors, mostly biology majors, a few in biomedical engineering

The grade was based on midterm and final exams and two lab reports. The final grade curve was 3.6


This was the fourth time the course was offered by Dr. Stark and the third time that Ms. Simmons was the laboratory coordinator. This year. Maze Ndonwi, finishing her Ph.D., was the TA

There is an element of evaluation by the very nature of this assessment tool, and the course is rated better every year. Even when comments are critical, they are counterbalanced by positive comments

Plan for the future

Even when comments are critical, they are well-meaning and useful for future planning. In particular:

(1) Lectures - shorter, more related to the exercises, put .pdfs of PowerPoints on line, go over questions

(2) Insulin lab has worked sometimes and did not work this year - try to iron out the kinks

(3) Revise the notebook based on the experiences this year and have the proper updated version of the physiology program (LabScribe)

(4) Continue improvvements - new labs, changing schedule, etc, based on the feedback.

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