BL A347 General Physiology Laboratory, Prof. Stark
Spring 2004 Assessment., April 22

Note, the form the students were handed is in plain type. Responses and comments added for analysis and interpretation are in italics.

Here are the stated objectives of the course:

Students completing this laboratory will have their learning experience for General physiology lecture (BL A346, the pre- or co-requisite) supplemented and reinforced. Students will cooperate in small groups to gain experience in computer-based interactive physiology programs and problems involving inquiry-based learning. They will acquire and analyse data on cellular, neuromuscular, cardiac, respiratory and excretory systems. Skills such as calculations with spread sheets will be emphasized.

The mean grade for 346 was 3.05, while the mean grade for my lab students in 346 was 3.17.

"The course fulfilled these objectives."
Circle one-
1. strongly agree 9 2. agree 12 3. disagree 1 4. strongly disagree 0

If not, why not?

"I feel more lab reports would have been would compel us to more closely analyze data & trends of systems...not long reports, just more in depth"

"I think that this class really helped. I can honestly say that it helped to make the physiology lectures come to life, and make it easier to understand"

"These objectives were reasonable."
Circle one-
1. strongly agree 7 2. agree 15 3. disagree 0 4. strongly disagree 0

If not, why not?

Conclusion - objectives and their fulfillment were good

The objectives have been posted since 1/7/04. Did you ever look at them?
Circle one-
1. yes 11 2. no 6 3. can't remember 5

Conclusion - stated objectives are of interest to only half of the students

Biology faculty are asked to suggest how the course should be improved on the basis of the assessment administered, so I ask you to rate the value of each separate activity in the context of objectives.

ADAM Disks
Circle one-
1. High 14 2. Medium 7 3. Low 1

Conclusion - ADAM disks are not really physiology labs, they are interactive study aids, but students seem not to care and like them anyway

Cell labs
Circle one-
1. High 12 2. Medium 6 3. Low 4

"was in MCAT! (caspases!!!) for #2"

Cell labs were conducted by Dr Bode and 2 graduate students who registered with Dr. Bode for teaching practicum. Their future is uncertain.

Electrophysiology demonstration
Circle one-
1. High 8 2. Medium 10 3. Low 3

This was a new lab

Muscle Lab
Circle one-
1. High 17 2. Medium 4 3. Low 1

While there was a muscle lab previously, this was substantially revised

Cardio lab
Circle one-
1. High 15 2. Medium 5 3. Low 2

This lab was revised from two labs offered in previous years

Diving lab
Circle one-
1. High 17 2. Medium 4 3. Low 1

This was a completely new lab

Respiration lab
Circle one-
1. High 12 2. Medium 7 3. Low 4

This lab was revised substantially from previous years

Urinanalysis lab
Circle one-
1. High 19 2. Medium 3 3. Low

This lab was revised slightly from previous years

Students did not notice, and I did not until now (July 2004), that I forgot to ask about physiological optics lab.

State what changes you think should be made.

"Fewer quizzes! Haha."

"The Prelab were difficult to comprehend for a couple such as respiration lab and optics lab"

"The electrophysiology lab seemed a little dated, the techniques didn't seem to work well."

"Your quizzes are way to hard"

"The cell part seemed a little out of proportion for the class. I also think that the computer things should be better explained before we use itI still don't quite understand whaqt's going on."

"More in depth explanation of what goes on in the body"

"You guys did a pretty good job w/ this lab. However, I think lab quizzes should be based solely on the lab, not the lab and the class."

"adam disks are an easy grade & you redally don't learn the material, just copy it."

"I think the cell lab may have been a bit much... I had a tough time following it. The cardio labs, something more should be done with the."

"I found the electrophysiology section interesting, but I didn't take a lot from the experience."

"The ADAM disks were worthless."

Do you remember Prof. Bode telling you in lecture that the "Interactive Physiology" disk that came with the text had ADAM disk material?
Circle one-
1. yes 5 2. no 16 (1 answered "not applicable)

"didn't buy book"

About how much did you study this disk?
Circle one-
1. many hours 1.5 2. just to see what was on it 4.5 3. not at all 15

"we did ADAM disks & they were adequate. I had no reason to continue on."

The above two questions were geared toward determining whether the students noticed that they did not need the physiology lab course to study for the lecture course with the ADAM disks

Given that students must be graded, evaluate the usefulness of:

Lab reports
Circle one-
1. High 15 2. Medium 6 3. Low 1

Circle one-
1. High 8 2. Medium 10 3. Low 4

Circle one-
1. High 15 2. Medium 4 3. Low 2

one circled high and wrote "Bode material" and also circled low and wrote "ADAM disks"

Note, ADAM worksheets involve transcribing material in groups of 3 or 4 on a take-home basis, and their inclusion in grading might be considered a questionable practice, but students did not seem to notice this or to care since they all do uniformly well on worksheets obviously.

Circle one-
1. High 2 2. Medium 9.5 3. Low 10.5 (one low added category "very low")

State what changes you think should me made

"I would like to see more cellular physiology"

"I think the percentages for each section should be given in the beginning; however, I was satisfied with the percentages used for grades in the end"

"I honestly never know what to study for quizzes. I think a more definitive outline as to what kind of quiz questions will be asked would be great or make students do a prelab rather than quizzes."

"The quizzes had some random material on them that I wouldn't even be able to find when studying."

"Quizzes are hard, you might know the concepts, but miss it because you don't know a single word."

"Exams should be stressed less."

"Quizzes were very random as far as questions go."

"I think that the poserlab should have some more explanation."

"Less material coverage for cell report. There were about 40 pages worth of journal articles. I don't have time for that w/ Dr. Benofy's physics class."

"Quizzes were a little to difficult."

"Make quizzes worth less."

"Quizzes were difficult, but it was more difficult to figure what information to study for quizzes. By the end, this led to a state of apathy towards them because studying didn't seem to help immensely."

"I think the quizzes were somewhat useful, but were sometimes unfair because they asked about things we wouldn't know until after we did lab. Also I think quizzes could have tested more over big important concepts instead of small, minute sometimes unimportant details."

"Assessment hyperlink" was written on the syllabus all semester. What was there? (If you do not know, say so.)

16 indicated, with various wordings, that they did not know.
3 left blank
"I looked but don't remember...test & quiz information?"
"Pictures & additional info."
"Can't remember, but I probably didn't click it."

For about what percentage of other courses you have taken at SLU do you remember assessment information like this being collected?
Circle one-
1. 100% 3 2. 80% 6 3. 60% 3 4. 40% 2 5. 20% 1 6. none 5
one said "unknown"
one did not answer

in fact, I did not decide on a questionaire and write this questionaire until the end of the semester, and so the hyperlink was dead. The response to the above question indicates that assesment is of interest to administrators but not students. If the poll taken on the last question is accurate, SLU is very uneven in its incorporation of assessment across the curriculum.

Overall conclusions in terms of the next semester's course.
1. Keep the course as is in large part.
2. With lab reports or data work-ups, have students process the results of more lab exercises.
3. Revise and improve the web information for the labs.
4. De-emphasize the quizzes slightly.
5. Keep, or even increase or revise the A.D.A.M. discs (now "Interactive Physiology" CD that is supplied with lecture text.

Comment - It is surprising how much the students disliked the quizzes considering that there is evidence that they could be managed: In 5 of the 7 quizzes, some students scored 100%

This page was last updated 11/18/04

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