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The Use of Online Pre-Lab Assessments Compared with Written Pre-Lab Assignments Requiring Experimental Result Prediction Shows No Difference in Student Performance

    Author: Erica Suchman1
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1682
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, 1619 Campus Delivery, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1619. Phone: 970-491-6521. E-mail: Erica.suchman@colostate.edu.
    • ©2015 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2015 vol. 16 no. 2 266-268. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.895
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    Abstract:

    Exam performance was compared for students who hand wrote questions designed to prepare them for daily lab activities in a senior level virology laboratory course versus those who answered questions created to mirror the written questions on-line. No significant difference was noted in exam scores on any of the three midterms, written final exam, nor the practical exam. Neither was there a significant difference in the quality of the laboratory reports turned in as evidenced by similar average scores over four years. These results indicate that using online pre-labs to prepare students for the laboratory sessions leads to equivalent learning as answering handwritten pre-lab assignments. Online pre-labs significantly reduced the amount of grading without reducing student learning, allowing a reduction in the number of teaching assistants required per section.

References & Citations

1. Bayerlein L2014Students’ feedback preferences: how do students react to timely and automatically generated assessment feedback?Assess Eval Higher Educ39891693110.1080/02602938.2013.870531 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2013.870531
2. Nottis KEK, Kastner ME2005The effect of instructional modality and prior knowledge on learning point group symmetryJ Sci Educ Technol141515810.1007/s10956-005-2733-2 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10956-005-2733-2
3. Peteroy-Kelly M2010Online pre-laboratory modules enhance introductory biology students’ preparedness and performance in the laboratoryJ Microbiol Biol Educ1115910.1128/jmbe.v11i1.130239142803726230 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v11i1.130
4. Roblyer MD1997Technology and the Oops! effect: finding a bias against word processingLearn Lead Technol2471416
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.895
2015-12-01
2017-12-14

Abstract:

Exam performance was compared for students who hand wrote questions designed to prepare them for daily lab activities in a senior level virology laboratory course versus those who answered questions created to mirror the written questions on-line. No significant difference was noted in exam scores on any of the three midterms, written final exam, nor the practical exam. Neither was there a significant difference in the quality of the laboratory reports turned in as evidenced by similar average scores over four years. These results indicate that using online pre-labs to prepare students for the laboratory sessions leads to equivalent learning as answering handwritten pre-lab assignments. Online pre-labs significantly reduced the amount of grading without reducing student learning, allowing a reduction in the number of teaching assistants required per section.

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