Saturday, November 20, 2010

Expect an exam...

We've been flying through cells in biology, and covering lots of stuff about bones in anatomy and this of course means that I have to test you on it.

But not to fear young ones, I am also a super pretentious grad student!  One of the classes I'm taking, as you may know, is "Educational Assessment."  In other words, "testing your learning!"  My final project in this class is to create an assessment that covers a unit of instruction (i.e. "cells" or "bones").  It has to have 50 multiple choice questions, a table that shows the "level of learning" for each question and a project or essay or the like that has a rubric for grading. 

I haven't decided which class I will choose to do this for... biology or anatomy... but that class should consider themselves very lucky to be tested so thoroughly.  Teachers that take the time to do this for every unit are likely to have students that perform very well.  I think I will be able to write up a really good study guide for the exam, too.  Doing a project like this will enable me to analyze the types of multiple choice questions I'm asking, and to take a step back from the assessment in question and say "what is the outcome I want from this unit?"  I have already asked myself, "what do I want my students to walk away knowing about [unit]?"  And I also thought about what a "good grade" looks like on the next exams.

The averages on the last exam were pretty good, right around 76-82.  I want to bring that up this time... let's aim for 83-86 in all the biology classes.

That's all for now... time to start making those exams and writing up my project outline!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


We just started the skeletal system.  I have to say, aside from the Nervous System & the brain, this is my favorite system to study!

Here are a few pics from the lab we're doing:
Chicken leg bone in vinegar.

Chicken leg bone in bleach.

What's going to happen?!