Session Type

Presentation

Room

P&A Rm 106

Start Date

10-7-2015 12:00 AM

Keywords

collaborative learning, two-stage, student engagement, course transformation

Primary Threads

Teaching and Learning Science

Abstract

Two-stage exams are those in which students first write a test independently and then, immediately after, write the same, or similar, exam as small groups, effectively teaching and learning from each other. This approach has been reported to improve students’ performance on subsequent individual tests, encourages a collaborative approach to problem solving, and turns exams into learning experiences (e.g., Gilley & Clarkston, 2014). To enhance genetics problem solving skills of undergraduate students, the second year genetics classes at the University of Toronto Mississauga (n=440) and York University (n=250) were redesigned to incorporate not only two-stage exams, but also a two-stage model adapted for both our in-class activities (i.e., Peer Instruction) and course-associated tutorials. Here we report on our studies on repurposing of the two-stage exam approach for tutorials to encourage collaborative learning and problem solving. In tutorials, students completed a short problem set assignment (2 to 3 questions, related to the previous week’s material) on their own, followed by completion of the same, or a more challenging problem set, in groups of 3 to 4. In this session, we will provide a discussion of the relevant research on two-stage exams, describe and model the set-up of these tutorials at our respective institutions, and explore student* and instructor perceptions, including those of TAs, as well as lessons learned. We welcome participants’ input, discussion, and feedback to help improve the use of two-stage tutorials in future.

*IRB-approval to collect and share perceptions of this implementation.

References: Gilley BH and Clarkston B. 2014. Collaborative testing: evidence of learning in a controlled in-class study of undergraduate students. Journal of College Science Teaching 43(3): 83-91.

Elements of Engagement

This session will include an interactive mini-version of the two-stage tutorials (involving participants), as well as a facilitated discussion, seeking participant feedback on how we can improve this approach.


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Jul 10th, 12:00 AM

A Tale of Two Classes: Student and Instructor Perceptions of Two-Stage Tutorials in Introductory Genetics Classes

P&A Rm 106

Two-stage exams are those in which students first write a test independently and then, immediately after, write the same, or similar, exam as small groups, effectively teaching and learning from each other. This approach has been reported to improve students’ performance on subsequent individual tests, encourages a collaborative approach to problem solving, and turns exams into learning experiences (e.g., Gilley & Clarkston, 2014). To enhance genetics problem solving skills of undergraduate students, the second year genetics classes at the University of Toronto Mississauga (n=440) and York University (n=250) were redesigned to incorporate not only two-stage exams, but also a two-stage model adapted for both our in-class activities (i.e., Peer Instruction) and course-associated tutorials. Here we report on our studies on repurposing of the two-stage exam approach for tutorials to encourage collaborative learning and problem solving. In tutorials, students completed a short problem set assignment (2 to 3 questions, related to the previous week’s material) on their own, followed by completion of the same, or a more challenging problem set, in groups of 3 to 4. In this session, we will provide a discussion of the relevant research on two-stage exams, describe and model the set-up of these tutorials at our respective institutions, and explore student* and instructor perceptions, including those of TAs, as well as lessons learned. We welcome participants’ input, discussion, and feedback to help improve the use of two-stage tutorials in future.

*IRB-approval to collect and share perceptions of this implementation.

References: Gilley BH and Clarkston B. 2014. Collaborative testing: evidence of learning in a controlled in-class study of undergraduate students. Journal of College Science Teaching 43(3): 83-91.