Biblio >> Engaging Learning And Addressing Over-assessment In The Science Laboratory: Solving A Pervasive Problem.

Engaging Learning And Addressing Over-assessment In The Science Laboratory: Solving A Pervasive Problem.

TitleEngaging Learning And Addressing Over-assessment In The Science Laboratory: Solving A Pervasive Problem.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year2014
AuthorsBree RT, Dunne K, Brereton B, Gallagher G, Dallat J
JournalThe All Ireland Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
Volume6
Issue3
Start Page2061
Date PublishedAutumn/2014
Type of ArticleResearch Article
Abstract

 This small-scale, mixed-method research study aimed at improving the learning experience for students

in laboratory practical sessions. A sub-group of undergraduate Science students performed the

Biochemistry practical component using a range of innovative integrated approaches over one semester,

including a reduction in the number of laboratory reports performed and the introduction of a suite of inclass

formative assessments. Group-work and self-assessment activities were combined with a

distinctive incremental grading system designed to encourage feedback uptake. The outcomes of the

intervention were assessed using data collected by two mixed-method approaches in an ethically

approved manner: an online questionnaire and comparative focus groups. Quantitative analysis of

grades obtained from laboratory reports over the semester demonstrated improvement in quality via

uptake of feedback. Qualitative data obtained from the questionnaire/focus groups were thematically

analysed and triangulated. Results showed the students engaged with, and implemented feedback,

developed self-assessment reflections on their work prior to submission and improved the quality of their

laboratory reports and theoretical understanding throughout this intervention. This study recommends

implementing the feedback approach, incremental marking system and the self-assessment forms in

teaching curricula. Together, they encourage the development of lifelong skills, such as self-reflection

 

and an always-improving attitude in students.