Proposal Title

The impetus for course renewal – responding to student feedback

Session Type

Poster

Room

P&A Atrium

Start Date

6-7-2017 5:50 PM

Keywords

renewal, revision, feedback, assessment, rubric, authenticity

Primary Threads

Curriculum

Abstract

As science educators, we are often reminded of the importance of being reflective practitioners, and the importance of seeking and responding to feedback from students. With this in mind, we embarked on the renewal of a long-established first year biology lab course in response to negative feedback from students via standard end-of-term surveys. We first surveyed past students more extensively about their experience in the course, their suggestions for improvement, and what elements of the course they found useful. We then incorporated student feedback into the renewal where their suggestions were appropriate and commensurate with our intentions. Three major areas emerged for consideration: the high workload for a 2-credit course, the clarity of assessment expectations, and the authenticity of the research experience. As part of the renewal we refined workload requirements by removing activities that did not directly support our objectives. We clarified assessment requirements and also introduced grading rubrics. Finally, through various activities, we increased the visibility of the parallels between student research and real research taking place at the university. We additionally provided more scaffolding in areas students requested and found beneficial, and monitored student learning to ensure this was not adversely affected as a result of the renewal. Post-renewal feedback from students regarding their experience with the course is greatly improved.

Through the example of our renewal process, poster attendees will (1) learn the value of a mixed-method assessment strategy in evaluating curriculum change and (2) gain an appreciation of the importance of considering student feedback when engaging in course renewal.

Elements of Engagement

We will interact with visitors to our poster.

Outcomes - viewers will:

Identify the value of a mixed-method assessment strategy in evaluating curriculum change

Gain an appreciation of the importance of considering student feedback when engaging in course renewal

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Jul 6th, 5:50 PM

The impetus for course renewal – responding to student feedback

P&A Atrium

As science educators, we are often reminded of the importance of being reflective practitioners, and the importance of seeking and responding to feedback from students. With this in mind, we embarked on the renewal of a long-established first year biology lab course in response to negative feedback from students via standard end-of-term surveys. We first surveyed past students more extensively about their experience in the course, their suggestions for improvement, and what elements of the course they found useful. We then incorporated student feedback into the renewal where their suggestions were appropriate and commensurate with our intentions. Three major areas emerged for consideration: the high workload for a 2-credit course, the clarity of assessment expectations, and the authenticity of the research experience. As part of the renewal we refined workload requirements by removing activities that did not directly support our objectives. We clarified assessment requirements and also introduced grading rubrics. Finally, through various activities, we increased the visibility of the parallels between student research and real research taking place at the university. We additionally provided more scaffolding in areas students requested and found beneficial, and monitored student learning to ensure this was not adversely affected as a result of the renewal. Post-renewal feedback from students regarding their experience with the course is greatly improved.

Through the example of our renewal process, poster attendees will (1) learn the value of a mixed-method assessment strategy in evaluating curriculum change and (2) gain an appreciation of the importance of considering student feedback when engaging in course renewal.