1887

Reflections on the Value of Mapping the Final Theory Examination in a Molecular Biochemistry Unit

    Authors: Rajaraman Eri1, Anthony Cook1, Natalie Brown2,*
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    Affiliations: 1: School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Australia, TAS 7250; 2: Tasmanian Institute of Learning and Teaching, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia, TAS
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 01 May 2014
    • Supplemental materials available at http://jmbe.asm.org
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Private Bag 133, Hobart 7001, Tasmania, Australia. Phone: +61-3-6226-1756. Fax: +61-3-6324-3658. E-mail: Natalie.Brown@utas.edu.au.
    • ©2014 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2014 vol. 15 no. 1 53-54. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v15i1.679
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    Abstract:

    This article assesses the impact of examination mapping as a tool to enhancing assessment and teaching quality in a second-year biochemistry unit for undergraduates. Examination mapping is a process where all questions in a written examination paper are assessed for links to the unit’s intended learning outcomes. We describe how mapping a final written examination helped visualise the impact of the assessment task on intended learning outcomes and skills for that biochemistry unit. The method involved complete analysis of all the final examination questions, and linking each question to task-specific criteria or learning outcomes. This strategy also identified the distribution of marks to key learning outcomes such as knowledge, interpretation and application. Our results indicated that 45% of the questions addressed the knowledge aspect while 37% and 18% were allocated to interpretation and application facets of the intended learning outcomes respectively. In addition, our exam mapping strategy aided in defining the characteristics of examination questions. The examination mapping exercise proved to be a useful process that can enhance a balanced assessment of skills in addition to devising strategies such as criterion-referenced assessment for examinations.

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References & Citations

1. Anderson LW, Krathwohl D 2001 A taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessing: a revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives Longman New York, NY
2. Andrade H 2000 Teaching with rubrics: the good, the bad, and the ugly Coll Teach 53 27 30 10.3200/CTCH.53.1.27-31 http://dx.doi.org/10.3200/CTCH.53.1.27-31
3. Andrade H, Du Y 2001 Student responses to criteria-referenced self-assessment Assess Eval Higher Educ 32 159 181 10.1080/02602930600801928 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02602930600801928
4. Barrie S 2007 A conceptual framework for the teaching and learning of generic graduate attributes Stud High Educ 32 439 458 10.1080/03075070701476100 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03075070701476100
5. Biggs JB, Tang C 2007 Teaching for quality learning at university Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press Buckingham, UK
6. Hamdy H 2006 Blueprinting for the assessment of health care professionals Clin Teach 3 175 179 10.1111/j.1743-498X.2006.00101.x http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1743-498X.2006.00101.x
7. Harris KL, et al 2007 Enhancing assessment in the biological sciences: ideas and resources for university educators [Online.] http://www.bioassess.edu.au/
8. Hussey T, Smith P 2010 The uses of learning outcomes Teach High Educ 8 357 368 10.1080/13562510309399 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13562510309399
9. O’Donovan B, Price M, Rust C 2000 The student experience of criterion-referenced assessment (through the introduction of a common criteria assessment grid) Innov Educ Teach Int 38 74 85 10.1080/147032901300002873 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/147032901300002873
10. Payne E, Brown G 2011 Communication and practice with examination criteria. Does this influence performance in examinations? Assess. Eval. Higher Educ 36 619 626 10.1080/02602931003632373 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02602931003632373
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v15i1.679
2014-05-01
2017-11-24

Abstract:

This article assesses the impact of examination mapping as a tool to enhancing assessment and teaching quality in a second-year biochemistry unit for undergraduates. Examination mapping is a process where all questions in a written examination paper are assessed for links to the unit’s intended learning outcomes. We describe how mapping a final written examination helped visualise the impact of the assessment task on intended learning outcomes and skills for that biochemistry unit. The method involved complete analysis of all the final examination questions, and linking each question to task-specific criteria or learning outcomes. This strategy also identified the distribution of marks to key learning outcomes such as knowledge, interpretation and application. Our results indicated that 45% of the questions addressed the knowledge aspect while 37% and 18% were allocated to interpretation and application facets of the intended learning outcomes respectively. In addition, our exam mapping strategy aided in defining the characteristics of examination questions. The examination mapping exercise proved to be a useful process that can enhance a balanced assessment of skills in addition to devising strategies such as criterion-referenced assessment for examinations.

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