Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Biología (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 4623-4632
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Assessment of student learning is an essential requirement to improve teaching in the framework of the European Space for Higher Education (ESHE). Such improvement implies to develop new and diversified assessment tools that let the teacher to know whether the cognitive objectives of the course has being achieved by the students (knowledge as a goal), and also contribute to encourage and enhance student self-learning. In this sense, assessment must be continuous, formative and focused on the acquisition of a variety of generic competences, skills and longlife learning (knowledge as a tool).
The aim of this experience was to develop an active and integrative strategy to assess and promote learning in Animal Physiology, a graduate subject currently taught at the Physiology (Animal Physiology II) department of the Biology Faculty at the Complutense University of Madrid. We have designed and developed specific assessment instruments, including check lists, observation reports, quizzes, surveys, and rubrics to assess and monitor the following items:
1) The student learning, including knowledge (models of test exams, rubrics to evaluate short questions and themes and an observation report to evaluate a glossary), procedures (check lists, rubrics and observation reports to evaluate laboratory skills, oral presentations and debates), and attitudes (a check list and observation reports). These 3 aspects of student learning will be evaluated using teaching-assessment, self-assessment and co-assessment.
2) The quality of teaching and assessment (meta-assessment). To evaluate these aspects we have used student-assessment (initial and final surveys) and teacher-assessment (self-quizzes and an observation report). These tools provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching, learning and assessment activities.
Besides, in order to facilitate the implementation of this strategy in the classrooms we have elaborated an assessment schedule specifying when the different instruments have to be used throughout the academic course. We have also generated a guide with instructions and objectives for each assessment instrument.
The present work has also contributed to the development of e-learning methodologies in the UCM, since we have also designed and created several on-line spaces of self-assessment, glossary, tutorial, e-mail, thematic chats, evaluation calendar, and qualifications. These on-line instruments are easy and useful tools for the student to check their learning progress and to assess student implication in the different activities and tasks performed.
In summary, the development and implementation of this integrative and diversified strategy of assessment results in an active involvement of the student in their own learning and let us to advance in the adaptation of the Animal Physiology course to the ESHE, and then, contributing to the implementation of the Bologna process in the UCM.
This work was supported by the UCM as an Innovation and Quality Improvement in Teaching Projects (PIMCD- 43/2009).
Assessment, Animal Physiology, learning, teaching quality.