BL A347 General Physiology Laboratory, Prof. Stark
Fall, 2004 Assessment., November 18, 2004

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

What is assessment? There has been and there is still considerable debate. "Student outcomes assessment" was an expression implying that whether students learned the material or attained the objectives was determined. In the Biology Department, in December 2002, "course assessment" was instituted, and faculty were directed to report how the information collected would be used to change or improve the course. This Fall (2004), the new A & S Dean, J. Michael Sproule, endorsed and further refined this latter model by suggesting that the only information that should be collected would be targeted to determining course changes. This questionaire is definitely not a teacher evaluation (you will get that later).

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 course fulfilled these objectives."
Circle one-
1. strongly agree 6 2. agree 11 3. disagree 0 4. strongly disagree 0

If not, why not?

Great course

The course fulfilled all these objectives very well.

I ask you to rate the value of the following activities in the context of objectives.

Sensory systems lab (new Fall, 2004, eye dissection, olfaction, taste, vision and audition).
Circle one-
1. High 8 2. Medium 8 3. Low 0


loved the dissection - very informative

very good lab that gave me experience with eye structure and function. It gave me insight into the various sensory systems

interesting tests, fun but still informational

I did not gain as much knowledge because we did not spend as much time on these labs

the dissection complemented the vision tests b/c you could see the physical components and how manifested

The eye dissection could have been a separate lab with more time devoted to learning the structures and their functions

I like the more hands-on labs

Eye dissection was cool, everything else was just so-so

Dissecting offered a hands-on experience into the learning of how sensory systems operate

Seemed a little out of place considering the level of difficulty of the other.

Was a great lab learned a lot of new material

sometimes it seems we were wasting time just to take up the time the lab was scheduled for

Mouse endocrine control of glucose (new Fall, 2004)
Circle one-
1. High 16 2. Medium 3. Low 1


Probably the best lab in terms of learning skills and applicable lab experience

I liked working w/ animals

This was my favorite lab

Probably the best lab we've had so far

I really enjoyed this lab. Its hands-on approach was very effective

Using live animals was a first time experience, and it was fun

I liked this exercise; very hands-on

Best lab of the semester

I was not sure how you wanted us to interpret the data. Maybe in future labs specify exactly what graphs, information and data should be emphasized

Excellent lab, expand the conceptual knowledge of what diabetes does and the treatment. Allowed a hands on understanding in the treatment with Insulin and Glucagon, a subject well known to me due to my experience with a diabetic pet

It bit me!, well not too hard - I thought it was a very good opportunity to simulate real research

I learned a lot about glucose levels in the blood

I didn't completely get how the antagonistic effects of insulin & glucagon went together before

This lab was great because it showed the integration of internal control. The mouse model system was a great way to determine insulin and glucagon function

1st animal experiment I've ever done - awesome experiment - learned more and understood more with this experiment because of hands-on

Would you like to have other animal labs added?

Six students simply replied "yes"

yes. definitely

possibly animals with the muscle lab


Oh ya


Yes, but try not to kill too many animals.

Yes, anything that applies medicinal treatment knowledge while advancing physiologyinformation is useful.I view hands on as the easiest way to learn

If time permitted, I would like to have a lab studying digestion in animals

No. Makes me feel bad for them. I really didn't like snipping off their tails

Yes. I think that it provides practical experience to students taking this lab. They will most likely have to work with animals in a real laboratory setting.


Optics lab (Drosophila, optic set-ups, microscopy, ophthalmoscope, etc.) (New Spring, 2004, but inadvertently omitted from the Spring, 2004 assessment)
Circle one-
1. High 3 2. Medium 11 3. Low 3


this lab was ok

wasn't as interesting as the other labs

Good lab

Bug eyes don't interest me

The flies tended to do the opposite of what was expected. The lab also provided some insight into your own visual ability

I'm not too sure how well the flies cooperated

This lab served to dissect the basis for visual function. It was a great lab, but it should be placed closer to the sensory lab.

The microscope set up provided the best examples

Last semester, students largely approved of the following: (Electrophysiology demonstration, Muscle Lab, Cardio lab, Diving lab, Respiration lab, and Urinanalysis lab) and so they were retained and enhanced this semester. "This selection of labs provides a foundation relevant to physiology and to the objectives of this course."

Circle one-
1. strongly agree 9 2. agree 7 3. disagree 1 4. strongly disagree

If not, why not?

The only critique I have is the strong emphasis on out-of-date equipment. Although these parts were interesting, they were not very applicable to students' future involvement in physiology

would possibly add more dissections for hands-on

Last semester, students largely approved of the Interactive Physiology Disk Study and Worksheets. Last year's were retained and three more were added. "In the context of meeting the objectives, the interactive physiolgy exercises were useful, and the number of interactive physiology exercises was appropriate."

Circle one-
1. strongly agree 6 2. agree 8 3. disagree 1 4. strongly disagree 2

If not, why not?

But should be given the choice of completing them on our own time.

This is home work. To drive or travel to a lab class and spend the time doing home work was a waste of time.I would rather spend time in lab doing work I can only do in lab. I can (and did) go through the CD at home.

It's okay, the work sheets seem like busy work

I feel that the disca are ineffective. They target minutae, as opposed to what I find more important - the concepts. One or two discs would be OK, but to have reliance on them is counter-effective in my opinion.

It was the only thing saving my grade

Worksheets were too long, though.

well, it was a good review of the material but really a lot of busy work

For last semester, considerable information was gathered about how students were evaluated. The only consistent complaint centered on quizzes. This semester, there is one less quiz and the lowest quiz score is dropped. Also, more interactive physiology worksheets contribute to the grade. Everything else is about the same. "Overall, in the context of meeting the learning objectives, the grading was acceptable."

Circle one-
1. strongly agree 6 2. agree 7 3. disagree 4 4. strongly disagree

If not, why not?

lab reports are more useful. This is practical use for future lab work.

I agree, I'm not a fan of the quizzes

The grading was very fair

I didn't find the quizzes too dificult. The worksheets are basically easy points - not requiring much thought.

There was no explanation of what was wanted for each section of the lab reports then points were taken off for things that students didn't know should be in the sections

I'm not sure what the final will entail and how it would change my grade. Also, general, but not specific grade was known

Some of the quiz questions were a little out of left field

We were quizzed on things that were never talked about or read about in class or on Stark's website

Gives us more of a chance to understand material better w/ the worksheets

About how many hours per week do you spend on studying for and doing home work for this class?

I did not type out all of the precise statements here, but rather determined the average number to be 2.5.

This question was included because of departmentsl discussions Fall 2004 suggesting that a lab course should only be 2 credits if it meets about 6 hours. That logic does not take into account time spent outside of scheduled meeting time.

What would you like to say to the administration about the equipment available for this course?

Get up-to-date equipment. The old equipment is interesting but bears little application for future work.

quit saving it from the trash

Need newer equipment nothing from the trash

Very old - Please update since lots of people want to take this class

As previously mentioned, much of the equipment is out-of-date. Some, however, including the chart program on the Mac was very interesting and applicable

they could use some newer equipment

It's old, outdated, and found in the trash

Most of it, while old, served its purpose. However, I'm sure that some new equipment would have some different abilities

It would be nice to have some equipment that was new instead of salvaged

It seems as if all the equipment is Dr. Stark's (or from a friend) and not from the university.

They could provide some more, maybe newer equipment

We need more and/or better stuff. "I got this out of dumpster" was a common phrase

We ned modern (?)

Come on! We have to get stuff out of the trash in order to have classes but we can always afford statues and flowers. Piorities!I felt that the equipment was good. I realize that there is a budget, so I was pleased with what we had.

Please update some of it -> the admin. should give more money for Physiology lab.

What changes would you propose for next year?

a definite syllabus @ the beginning of the semester

more hands on with the animals working more with animals


Fewer ADAM Disks

explain the lab reports more

None, overall it went well

not much. The number of quizzes and worksheets were both good. Overall a good lab experience

More help with the computer programs would help

The lab reports need a little more structure and guidelines. Also, maybe show students what a good lab report looks like. I think changing to half lab reports was useful and made the students more interested in researching data.

Another animal lab, and lab report since these aid in the learning process best.

I think this lab is fine way it is

Make the quizzes more relevant to the information that we need to know. Too much of them were about things we hadn't learned yet or about which buttons to press and knobs to turn on machines we hadn't used yet

I would keep all of the labs. They were very useful. I would just shuffle the arrangement of the labs. For example, put the renal close to the sensory lab.

More dissection

Overall conclusions in terms of the next semester's course.

1. Work toward adding another animal lab - number one priority.

2. Continue, as I have done several times and as Prof Bode did when he was in charge, to lobby for new purchases.

3. Otherwise, keep the course as is in large part.

4. If, and only if, more teaching assistance is provided, increase lab reports and data work-ups, and have expectations more clearly stated.

5. In order to make expectations on quizzes clearer, include orientation (lectures) ahead of time and revise and improve the web information for the labs.

This page was last updated 9/10/04

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