NW-PULSE @ NW Biology instructors Conference 2017 Power

NW-PULSE @ NW Biology instructors Conference 2017 Power

NW-PULSE @ NW Biology instructors Conference 2017

Power Score Assessment for Biology Majors
NORTH SEATTLE COLLEGE
Brian Saunders, Hugo Alamillo, Katie Barndt

VISION To assess student learning and concept retention of Biology majors
MAIN GOAL To develop a tool that best assesses student learning and understanding in the Biology major
series (Biol 211, 212, 213) and identify how well students retain and apply knowledge to advanced courses
ACTIONS

Development of Power Score
Assessment.
Design diagnostic questions where
answers can assess level of student
understanding
Answers are ranked quantitatively which
calculates a student Power Score
Power scores are statistically analyzed
between different biology cohorts

Developing solid diagnostic questions.

Strong statistical assessment.
Identifies topics students have greatest
difficulty understanding / retaining for
advanced courses

Strong Biology Instructor pool

Can be used as Program Review and
accreditation evaluation

Strong support from Administration

Variability of Instructor teaching methods
makes it difficult to identify best practices for
instruction
Section sizes of Biology series are not equal

Reflection of Diagnostic Questions using
Power Scoring (PS)

Why do cells perform cellular respiration?
1. To produce oxygen (PS = 0.0)
2. To supply cells with carbon (PS = 0.33)
3. To gain energy from food molecules (PS = 0.66)
4. To produce ATP from food energy (PS = 1.0)

Heterogeneity of student background

STRENGTHS & LEVERAGE

PRODUCTS / REFLECTIONS /

BARRIERS & CHALLENGES

SUSTAINABILITY

RESOURCES & ALLIES

Initial study acts as a baseline for future
analysis
Could be used
to assess active
learning (AL)
teaching
strategies more
accurately

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES?
Pre-Biology students showed strong initial
Power Scores (see Figure 1)
Assessment of Bio 212 students may
reflect summer quarter bias
Box plots represent 95% confidence interval (thick lines), Q1, median and Q3 with notch 95% confidence interval for median.

Low cost

FUTURE GOALS
We hope to use the Power Score assessment
to re-evaluate student learning using more
active, inquiry-based teaching strategies

This work was supported in part by an NSF RCN UBE award # 1345033.

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