Progressive development of scientific literacy through assessment in inquiry-based biomedical science curricula

Colthorpe, Kay, Zimbardi, Kirsten, Bugarcic, Andrea and Smith, Aaron (2015) Progressive development of scientific literacy through assessment in inquiry-based biomedical science curricula. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 23 5: 52-64.

Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your UQ eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
UQ387603_OA.pdf Full text (open access) application/pdf 203.90KB 0
Author Colthorpe, Kay
Zimbardi, Kirsten
Bugarcic, Andrea
Smith, Aaron
Title Progressive development of scientific literacy through assessment in inquiry-based biomedical science curricula
Journal name International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education
ISSN 2200-4270
Publication date 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 23
Issue 5
Start page 52
End page 64
Total pages 13
Place of publication Sydney, NSW, Australia
Publisher Institute for Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education
Collection year 2016
Formatted abstract
A key outcome of science education is the development of graduates’ scientific literacy, defined as “an individual’s scientific knowledge, and use of that knowledge to identify questions, to acquire new knowledge, to explain scientific phenomena, and to draw evidence-based conclusions…” (OECD, 2010; pg 137). These skills are reflected throughout the Science Threshold Learning Outcomes (Jones, Yates and Kelder, 2011). To progressively develop such advanced skills within a broad major like biomedical science, it is essential to guide students along critical learning pathways. We have designed a series of inquiry-based classes to scaffold the development of these skills and vertically-integrated these across the curriculum (Zimbardi, Bugarcic, Colthorpe, Good and Lluka 2013), with this design receiving national recognition as best practice (Elliott, Boin, Irving, Johnson and Galea 2010; Kirkup and Johnson 2013). To facilitate skills development within these classes, students undertake increasingly complex assessment tasks as they progress through each course, requiring them to draw on their developing content knowledge to propose and undertake experiments, and to make conclusions based on their findings and evidence from scientific literature. Longitudinal analysis of a variety of assessment tasks from students across four semesters demonstrates the developmental trajectory of these skills. Specifically, they demonstrate increases in their ability to formulate testable hypotheses with measurable outcomes, their appreciation of cutting-edge methodologies and deeper understanding of the contestable nature of increasingly complex areas of scientific knowledge. This article reports on the design and use of these assessment tasks within the series of inquiry-based curricula, and their impact on the progression of student learning.
Keyword Assessment design
Authentic assessment
Critical thinking
Evidence
Scaffolding
Scientific reasoning
Vertical-integration
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Fri, 27 May 2016, 13:10:58 EST by Kay L Colthorpe on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)