Out-of-Class Assessment Activities for Feedback in a General, Organic, and Biochemistry Course

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Two out-of-class formative assessments that have been developed and used in a General, Organic, and Biochemistry course are reported herein. The first assessment, called Daily Feedback, used the collaborative word processor, Google Docs. This assessment required students to place topics/objectives in one of three categories based on their level of understanding: (1) Yes I got it; (2) [I can get it] with practice; and (3) [I have] no idea. The second assessment is a variation of a blueprint that students use in conjunction with practice exams. The assessments were mutually beneficial to the students and the instructor due to the feedback that they provided. This feedback allowed the instructor to modify future lectures, and it allowed the students to engage in more focused study due to the ability of these assessments to identify areas of strength and concern. Responses to an end-of-semester student survey indicated that both assessments were viewed positively by the students; the combination of the practice exam and its assessment sheet was favored and ranked highly as a component in the course. These assessments helped students to engage in ongoing conversations about the course material which is key to the development of their scientific communication and metacognitive skills. Both assessments can be easily adapted to other courses and disciplines.




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