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Improving Teaching through Triadic Course Alignment

    Authors: Dana A. Pape-Zambito1,*, Alison M. Mostrom1
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Sciences, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA 19104
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    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. October 2018 vol. 19 no. 3 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i3.1642
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    Abstract:

    Triadic alignment is a pedagogical technique that instructors can use to improve their teaching and students’ learning. It involves offering the course learning objectives, teaching and learning activities, and assessments at the same cognitive process level. Though it represents a best practice, few instructors have assessed the efficacy of triadic alignment. Previous research has demonstrated that General Biology courses are commonly misaligned relative to the objectives and assessments. However, little emphasis has been placed on assessing the teaching and learning activities as the third component of triadic alignment. In this article, we describe how a General Biology course was initially misaligned, the process that was taken to align it, and the improved student outcomes that resulted from triadic alignment. We expand our discussion to include types of misalignment and the benefits of triadic alignment for both the students and the faculty member.

References & Citations

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2018-10-31
2019-08-25

Abstract:

Triadic alignment is a pedagogical technique that instructors can use to improve their teaching and students’ learning. It involves offering the course learning objectives, teaching and learning activities, and assessments at the same cognitive process level. Though it represents a best practice, few instructors have assessed the efficacy of triadic alignment. Previous research has demonstrated that General Biology courses are commonly misaligned relative to the objectives and assessments. However, little emphasis has been placed on assessing the teaching and learning activities as the third component of triadic alignment. In this article, we describe how a General Biology course was initially misaligned, the process that was taken to align it, and the improved student outcomes that resulted from triadic alignment. We expand our discussion to include types of misalignment and the benefits of triadic alignment for both the students and the faculty member.

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Figures

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FIGURE 1

The average exam scores over three successive years of a new instructor’s teaching. Data were analyzed by one-way ANOVA comparing exam scores in years 1, 2, and 3. Individual exams were then compared with one another using Bonferoni’s -tests. Statistical comparisons are displayed within the exam number across years. “Overall” represents the mean of all exams within a particular year. Within the exam number, bars with different superscripts are statistically different from one another ( < 0.05). = 109, 80, and 67 for Years 1, 2, and 3, respectively.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. October 2018 vol. 19 no. 3 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i3.1642
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Image of FIGURE 2

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FIGURE 2

Students’ responses to the end-of-semester evaluation statement “Exams and assignments related to course content” in three successive years. A Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test was performed to determine whether the distribution of students’ attitude responses differed between the three years. Bars with different superscripts are statistically different (<0.05 ) from one another.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. October 2018 vol. 19 no. 3 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i3.1642
Download as Powerpoint
Image of FIGURE 3

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FIGURE 3

Students’ responses to the end-of-semester evaluation statement “Learned a lot from this course” in three successive years. A Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test was performed to determine whether the distribution of students’ attitude responses differed between the three years. Bars with different superscripts are statistically different ( < 0.05) from one another. (Data provided from the evaluation system were rounded to the nearest whole number; therefore, not all sums total 100%.)

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. October 2018 vol. 19 no. 3 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i3.1642
Download as Powerpoint

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