BIOL200 – Integrated Presentation and Assessment Material for Basic Cell Biology

TitleBIOL200 – Integrated Presentation and Assessment Material for Basic Cell Biology
Faculty/College/UnitScience
StatusCompleted
Duration2 Year
Initiation04/01/2006
Completion03/31/2008
Funding Details
Year 1: Project YearYear 1
Year 1: Funding Year2006/2007
Year 1: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 1: Principal InvestigatorJames D. Berger
Year 1: Funded Amount19,275
Year 1: Summary

Biology 200 Cell Biology I is a key second-year course in undergraduate life science programs. The emphasis in the course is the development of an integrated view of cell function as it relates to cell structure. At completion of the course students have a solid grasp of all major cell processes and their basis in cell structure and basic molecular biology. The course provides the context for subsequent courses in biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, genetics and molecular biology, and is taken by all students preparing careers in life sciences. Demand for this course is expected to increase further with the expansion of enrollment in Medicine and other health science programs. Currently, Biology 200 enrolls approximately 1300 students in five sections at UBC. An online version of Biology 200 Cell Biology I is currently under development with the assistance of UBC's Distance Education and Technology. While the development of the online version has as its focus materials for distance education students, we feel that with some additional resources will be able to greatly expand the reach of the online version of the course to directly benefit all BIOL200 students and substantially improve learning in the face-to-face course.

The primary objectives of the TLEF are:

  1. the development of multimedia presentations to supplement the overview lectures of the face-to-face course for use in both the face-to-face and distance education versions of BIOL200.
  2. The development of innovative formative assessment approaches that are both reflective and developmental, and which will provide feedback to students in both face-to-face and online versions of BIOL 200. These assessment approaches will be fully integrated with the presentation of conceptual material.

The evaluation of multimedia presentations and assessment strategies that are both reflective and developmental, and which will provide feedback to students in both face-to-face and online versions of BIOL200. These assessment approaches will be fully integrated with the presentation of conceptual material.

We seek funding for development of multimedia presentations of key concept issues where students have difficulty in understanding, and their linkage to assessments that will provide immediate feedback to students and guide their study path through the course material. In the face of large classes (averaging greater than 250 per section in this course), and with many students requiring assistance with learning on key issues (many of them ESL), we need to have a way to present conceptual material that can be easily and repeatedly accessed by students outside of class time. In student surveys taken in 2005, students strongly and repeatedly indicated that the problem solving activities are the most important learning experiences in the course. Many of the weaker students do not get to the point of being able to participate in problem solving because they are not clear on the basic concepts that underlie the problems. Our expectation is that by helping students develop a basic conceptual framework, they can move more quickly and more easily to the key problem solving stage.

Year 2: Project YearYear 2
Year 2: Funding Year2007/2008
Year 2: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 2: Principal InvestigatorJames D. Berger
Year 2: Funded Amount20,000
Year 2: Summary

We are in the process of developing an on-line version of Biology 200, a key second-year course taken by ~1200 students each year.

This application is for funding to support the development of the remaining animated presentations (~10) that are designed to present basic concepts to students in a visually oriented medium that can be repeatedly accessed and used for both overview and review. These presentations will be coupled to extensive self-assessment question batteries. These quizzes (in WebCT quiz format) have ~5x redundancy of questions in each category so that they may be repeatedly taken without extensive repetition of questions. Depending on the assessment results, students will be either directed back to review the presentation material again, or will be sent on the next unit.

A trial mixed-mode section of the course will be presented in summer 2007, and will provide an opportunity for extensive evaluation and review of the new material generated for the on-line course.