Producing new forms of engaging: High-benefit assessment for undergraduate science students

Rowland, S. L. and Wood, I. (2011). Producing new forms of engaging: High-benefit assessment for undergraduate science students. In: Woolverton, Christopher J., Abstracts: 18th Annual ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators. 18th Annual ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators, Baltimore, MD, United States, (109-109). 2 - 5 June 2011. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v12i1.298

Author Rowland, S. L.
Wood, I.
Title of paper Producing new forms of engaging: High-benefit assessment for undergraduate science students
Conference name 18th Annual ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators
Conference location Baltimore, MD, United States
Conference dates 2 - 5 June 2011
Proceedings title Abstracts: 18th Annual ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators   Check publisher's open access policy
Journal name Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education   Check publisher's open access policy
Place of Publication United States
Publisher American Society for Microbiology
Publication Year 2011
Sub-type Poster
DOI 10.1128/jmbe.v12i1.298
Open Access Status DOI
ISSN 1542-8818
Editor Woolverton, Christopher J.
Volume 12
Issue 1
Start page 109
End page 109
Total pages 1
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
As the cost of education rises, college students appear to want shorter, more specialized study programs. The University of Queensland (UQ) is a large, research-intensive, public, Australian university. Many of our undergraduate programs have foundation science courses, but our students are often dissatisfied with these compulsory studies, saying they are “not relevant” to their goals. “Empowered Assessment” (EA) is a term used to describe the practice of giving students choice over the type, mode, and weight of assessment during a program of study. This two-part project aims to develop an EA approach to generalist undergraduate science at UQ; we hypothesize that giving students in science courses an acceptable level of selfdirection in assessment will increase their satisfaction and engagement. Part One is a modified ASSIST survey of UQ undergraduate science students. From this survey we aim to get a general picture of student attitudes to, and behaviors  associated with, study and assessment (both traditional and empowered). So far we have 496 valid survey responses. Our preliminary analysis indicates a significant proportion of students do not properly understand UQ’s expectations and assessment practices. This includes the hours of study outside class (70% don’t know the UQ expectation), the applicability of assessment criteria (51% think length criteria do not apply to their work), and the accessing of assessment information (25% do not consistently access online course profiles). Encouragingly, however, most students have a positive attitude to academics (60%–80% positive) and they want a shift in teaching practice from transmission to facilitation of learning. Part Two of the project involves asking undergraduates to design assessment items that they see as personally relevant, interesting, rigorous, and “acceptable” as EA tools by their peers. We will present 1) examples of these assessment items (including author reflections for each item) and 2) an analysis of the survey data where we examine the relationships between students’ motivation, study habits, and confidence in EA.
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Session 42-C

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
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Created: Mon, 26 Mar 2012, 09:38:13 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences