CaseStudy2.Taras - the Biology Scholars Program Wiki

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Background
 Writing
Across the
Curriculum Initiative




2002 Workshop
Development of
writing intensive
microbiology courses
Writing to learn
Defining success of
WAC
Background
Students in Writing
Intensive (WI) Sections
2003-2004 report:
 better readers (50%)
 better writers (55%)
 learned more as a result of
the writing assignments
(87%)
 Comparing WI vs. nonWI
sections: No overall
difference in exam grade
scores or final course grades

Looking for Questions…..

Do students get more multiple
choice exam questions correct in WI
courses vs. traditional courses?

Do students have better scores on
written exam answers in WI courses
vs. traditional courses?

What does the process of students
working in groups to answer essay
preparation questions look like?

What are students’ perceptions of
their learning?
2005-2006
Method





Essay preparation
questions in WI
sections
Brought answers to
class
Worked in groups to
develop scoring rubric
& score each other’s
answers
Submitted answers
based on the
comments of their
group members
Videotapted think
alouds
Summary of Results
 Do
students get more
multiple choice exam
questions correct in WI
courses vs. traditional
courses?
NO
 Do
students have
better scores on written
exam answers in WI
courses vs. traditional
courses? NO
2006 ASMCUE
Analysis of the Learning Process
Through Think Alouds

Struggle with group
work

Time management

Systematic process

Use of resources

Reluctant to change
answers based on
comments made by other
students
Analysis of Students’ Perceptions of
their Learning- Survey

The writing was different than
the writing in other science
courses- 83%

More interested in the course as a
result of the writing- 60%

Absorbed more information as a
result of the writing- 66%

Felt more connected to their
classmates- 63%
Linking
learning the
facts of
microbiology
to:
•Learning how to solve
problems
•Working with others as
is typically done in
real world situations
Revised Method

Prior to class, students were
given problems to solve

During class, students worked
in groups to compare their
written answers & to come up
with one set of answers per
group
Assessment of Revised Method

Multiple Choice
•
•

Written answers
•

Topics associated with writing
assignments vs. those not
addressed in assignments
Classified multiple choice
questions based on Bloom’s
taxonomy
Improved responses on
topics associated with
prior writing
Group work survey
•
Perceptions
Changing Assignments
Name & describe the properties of the 5 organisms studied in
microbiology.
Explain Koch’s postulates relating a pathogen to a disease.
Janie Melsek is a landscaper gardener in Sanibel Island, Florida
• dragged into a nearby pond by a 12 foot alligator.
• after 30 minutes in the alligator’s jaw, brought to a local
hospital
•lost her arm and bites in buttocks and thigh were treated and
antibiotics were administered.
•expected to survive, but died two days later. Doctors stated her
death “was due to her body shutting down in response to an
infection”. ………………..
Example of an Assignment Question

What are the 5 major groups of organisms studied in
microbiology?

Name one that could be responsible for Janie Melsek’s
death. Justify your choice. What was the source of this
microbe?

Provide a reason to explain why Janie Melsek died even
after receiving a good prognosis and antibiotic therapy.

Describe one property or structure of the microbe that
increased it ability to cause infection.

Explain how you would go about proving the organism you
selected was responsible for Janie Melsek’s death.
General Microbiology Exam Data
Topic
% Correct Responses on % of Students with
% of Students with 80%
Multiple Choice
>80% on Short Answers >80% Essays
EXAM 1
N= 32
Organisms Studied
History
Bacterial Structures
Growth
Origins/ Evolution
EXAM 2
Photosynthesis
Genetic Transfer
Basic Genetics
Recombinant DNA
Symbiosis
34.2
31.2
73.8
49.3
71.0
50.7
70.8
41.8
28.9
45.1
64.2
69.2
70.3
51.5
58.9
31.1
37.4
35.4
74.1
32.1
38.6
N = 29
Eukaryotic Microbes
Viruses
69.9
76.4
N= 32
Metabolism
EXAM 3
82.4
76.1
72.8
24.0
30.9
Results
Exam 1 Multiple Choice Data for General Microbiology
100
% correct
90
80
70
60
total
knowledge
comprehension
50
40
30
20
10
0
organisms studied
history structures growth origins
Results
Exam 1 Written Answer Data for General Microbiology
100
90
% correct
80
70
60
knowledge
comprehension
analysis
50
40
30
20
Topic considered in
writing
assignment
10
0
structures
growth
origins
Allied Health Microbiology Exam Data
Topic
EXAM 1
67.3
93.4
68.4
62.4
65.6
34.0
66.9
32.0
65.9
75.3
45.6
28.4
48.5 42.8 62.8
42.7
78.1
67.5
78.1
29.3
64.6
17.6
43.9
17.5
23.2
N = 35
Metabolism
Immunology
EXAM 3
% of Students with
% of Students with 80%
>80% on Written Short >80% Essays
Answers
N = 36
Organisms Studied
History
Bacterial Structures
Growth
Genetic Transfer
EXAM 2
% Correct Responses
on Multiple Choice
N=34
HIV/AIDS
Skin/Eyes Diseases
Respiratory diseases
26.4
41.1
23.4
42.7
Results
Exam 3 Multiple Choice Data for Allied Health Microbiology
100
90
80
total
knowledge
comprehension
application
% correct
70
60
50
40
30
20
Topic considered
in writing
assignment
10
0
HIV/AIDS
Skin/Eye
Diseases
Respiratory
Diseases
Results
Exam 3 Written Answer Data for Allied Health Microbiology
100
90
80
knowledge
comprehension
% correct
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
HIV/AIDS
Skin/Eye Diseases
Respiratory
Diseases
Topic considered
in writing
assignment
Summary
In General & Allied Health microbiology classes…..
 Comparing topics associated with prior writing to
those where no prior writing was done, no
consistent improvement in the number of correct
responses on multiple choice or written answers

Based on observations of students
in the process of
developing answers,
writing can be used as
a predictor of success
Survey Results
What you learned about yourself
Other
3%
Work
9%
Positive
Outcomes
10%
Negative
10%
Recognize flaws
& the need to
improve
31%
Personal Traits
required for
success
37%
117 responses
Survey Results
What you learned about group members
Other
8%
Work
13%
Positive
attributes
38%
Negative
41%
128 responses
Survey Results
Negative Defining Moment
Rejection of
ideas/work
12%
Other
14%
Argument
14%
Low grade
5%
Did not finish
tasks
11%
Poor work ethic
44%
43 responses
Survey Results
Positive Defining Moment
Completed
high stakes
task
9%
Other
11%
Change in
group
13%
Good grades
22%
Decided to
complete work
45%
46 responses
Survey Results
What would you do differently?
Interpersonal
28%
Communications/
Meetings
29%
Time
management/
Planning
43%
N=52
Survey Results
Classify your role in the group
Overbearing
11%
Passive
Observer
10%
Leader
40%
Non-initiator
39%
N = 62
Summary
 Students



recognize flaws in
themselves
one another
process
Reflections
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