IMPLEMENTING CONCEPT-TESTS IN AN ANNUAL SUBJECT OF PHYSIOLOGY IN THE PHARMACY DEGREE
Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The Pharmacy School of Albacete at the University of Castilla-La Mancha is a young school whose first academic year began in 2010. Lectures are given in a large single classroom with 45-60 students. During the second year of the Pharmacy Degree, students course Physiology, an annual subject of 9 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). The contents of Physiology are divided into 9 Units comprising a total of 39 lessons. The evaluation process consists of three Multiple-Choice-Questions-exams (an exam per 13 lessons) along the academic year that account for the 90% of the final score, and a 10% of participation assessment. During the last year (2012/13), the average marks for each exam were 5.4, 5.2 and 5.7 (over 10) which we consider to be low scores. In this sense, we think that our current evaluation system provides a weak feedback to students’ learning process. Most probably, this method directly affects their study habits, making them more prone to procrastination and to last-minute study strategies. In addition, according to its role, the teacher has to be able to actively engage every single student which, in the context of a large classroom, is a challenging task, and tracking student progress is hard. Therefore, our intention is to include a tool to make students being more aware of the pace and the time they actually need to spend on study to succeed. Here, we propose the administration of concept-tests, embedded in lecture sessions, throughout the course.
To monitor the efficiency of our proposal, in the present year, we will look into the study routines of the current students of Physiology to establish a control group. This will be carried out by a survey prepared for this purpose and that will include questions about study time management, degree of satisfaction (or disappointment) about grades and course difficulty. The students will be asked to complete the survey by the end of this academic year. During next course (2014/15), we will include short concept-test sessions in every lesson or unit, in which the students will must discuss and answer questions about the main topics dealt with. The same survey about study habits, mentioned above, will be conducted among the latter students and will be compared to the previous one. By crossing the survey results with the grades obtained in both courses, will try to diagnose the most common bad study ways of our students.
To guarantee effective sessions, we will request suggestions from students and teachers to set the conditions in which the concept-test sessions should be developed. We will collect preferences or suitability criteria regarding: anonymity, individual or group work, number of questions and time allotted for tests, total number of tests, and grading. Our expectation is that these sessions will provide the students with a proper reference to tune their study habits.
Keywords: Concept-tests, Physiology.