Ap biology essay rubrics 2002 - correlation research definition pdf









ap biology essay rubrics 2002

ap biology essay rubrics 2002Ap biology essay rubrics 2002 -The assignment also required students to provide expected outcomes of their proposed experiments and discuss possible alternate outcomes and limitations inherent in their research design.Nonetheless, there is significant need for more comprehensive assessment tools that undergraduate biology instructors can easily use to assess student learning, guide development of teaching strategies, and promote student metacognition in the biological sciences.An essential component of this reform is the development of reliable tools that reinforce and assess these new teaching strategies.Student performance was gauged both by looking at the percentage of students who earned full credit on a given criterion (Table 5) and also by determining the average percentage of possible points students earned for each criterion (data not shown).Students were also provided with numerical feedback, in addition to written feedback, on each of their drafts indicating how well they had fulfilled each of the grading criteria (e.g., on their hypothesis and specific aims section they might receive 3 out of 4 for developing a clear testable hypothesis, but only 2 out of 4 for designing specific research objectives that tested this hypothesis).For example, if the student needed to recall factual information and then be able to describe a process in his/her own words, we considered that question to test comprehension.Criteria requiring the most complex thinking skills showed the most dramatic improvement (Figure 1).Students were scored from 1 to 4 for how well they fulfilled each of 12 criteria as well as for overall presentation (Table 5).(Please note that the section entitled “broader societal and scientific significance” was ranked as knowledge/comprehension rather than application/analysis as the instructor had explicitly discussed the significance of this general area of research during lecture and students merely had to recall and focus the information for their specific study rather than apply knowledge to a new situation.) Not surprisingly, students performed best on criteria that required only a knowledge- or comprehension-level of thinking.Those criteria that demanded an ability to synthesize new ideas or critically evaluate a technique or body of knowledge proved to be the most challenging.This activity served three purposes: (1) to further familiarize students with the grading criteria that would be used to assess their own proposals, (2) to build students' confidence by placing them in the position of evaluator, and (3) to provide students with student-created models of research proposals that they could use to guide development of their own proposals.The BBT was then implemented in three different collegiate settings.These activities took a significant amount of class time, but ensured that students understood each of the criteria on which their own proposals would be scored at the end of the quarter.The level of Bloom's that is assessed by a given type of exam question depends highly on what information is provided to the student and which inferences or connections the student must make on his or her own.The BLASt incorporates a range of study methods and can be used by students to refine their study skills to become more efficient and effective learners.While developing the BBT, we found that the very process of developing the BBT was strongly influencing our own teaching in the classroom.In the past decade, considerable effort has been directed toward developing students' critical-thinking skills by increasing student engagement in the learning process (Handelsman , 2004).First, the assessment methods were made more transparent by introducing students to the grading rubric at the beginning of the quarter.The three remaining categories (analysis, synthesis, and evaluation) are true HOCS but are not necessarily hierarchical, meaning that a question categorized as evaluation does not always require analytical and synthesis abilities, but may require mastery of the lower three levels (knowledge, comprehension, and application).We therefore created the udents (BLASt; Table 3), a complementary student-directed tool designed to specifically strengthen study skills at each level of Bloom's.ap biology essay rubrics 2002We subsequently independently analyzed another 500 questions; statistical analysis of our rankings based on the BBT revealed high interrater reliability (agreement of at least two of the three raters over 91% of the time; [Zheng The BBT is not meant to be an absolute or definitive rubric; rather, the BBT is meant to be used as a general guide to aid both faculty and students in developing and identifying biology-related questions representing the different levels of Bloom's.To address this, we selected several of these science-specific skills and created examples or descriptions of question-types that would assess mastery at each level (Table 2.To assist students in applying the grading rubric to their peers' proposals, all students were asked to evaluate the same proposal from the previous quarter, and then a “norming session” was held in which the students received the instructor's ratings with further explanation as to why a particular numerical value had been assigned.Though considerable attention has been given to changing our classrooms to incorporate more active-learning strategies, not enough attention has been placed on how to better align assessment methods with learning goals.The BBT evolved out of a study we were asked to participate in that required us to rank more than 600 biology exam questions from a wide variety of sources including MCAT, GRE, and AP biology exams, as well as introductory biology and first-year medical school courses (Zheng , 2008).Through this process and extensive discussion of our work, we were able to better define and categorize the different types of questions that are typically found on biology exams.Although Bloom's lends itself to wide application, each discipline must define the original classifications within the context of their field.After assessing student performance on the research proposal and identifying the criteria that students found the most challenging, the instructor designed new course activities that would provide students with an opportunity to practice skills needed to complete this complex research assignment (i.e., better scaffold the assignment).Comparison of research proposal scores between the second and first quarter revealed some interesting trends.After reviewing the proposals, students convened in groups of four to act as a “review panel” to discuss the relative strengths and weaknesses of the three proposals and come to consensus on a rank order.Further, whereas multiple-choice questions can be designed to assess evaluation skills if they require students to determine relative value or merit (e.g., which data best support the following hypothesis), multiple-choice questions cannot assess synthesis-level thinking as all the answers are provided, eliminating the need for students to create new models, hypotheses, or experiments on their own.Many resources exist to assist faculty in designing high-quality, multiple-choice questions (Demetrulias , 1982; Udovic, 1996; Brady, 2005), and we have provided a list of some of these resources (Supplemental Material B).To differentiate between Bloom's levels, we found it useful to take one particular topic (e.g., cell biology) and develop a series of increasingly challenging exam questions representing the various levels of Bloom's.The work presented here shows how assessment tools, such as the BBT, can be used to guide and enhance teaching and student learning in a discipline-specific manner in postsecondary education.It is equally important to consider the level of information previously provided through classroom instruction i.e., if students are explicitly given an answer to an analysis question in class and then given that same question on an exam, then that question only requires recall (Allen and Tanner, 2002).Either case of misalignment of teaching and testing leads to considerable frustration on the part of both instructor and student.Each student then communicated his/her ideas and findings in the form of a written research proposal in which the student posed a hypothesis and described a set of specific aims (i.e., specific research objectives for the proposed study, as defined in NIH grant proposal guidelines) designed to further test this hypothesis.Two major changes were implemented when the course was taught the subsequent quarter.A revised version of Bloom's (Anderson , 2001) further subcategorizes the original taxonomy and converts the different category titles to their active verb counterparts: remember, understand, apply, analyze, create, and evaluate.This was a challenging assignment for the students as none had written a research proposal before this course and most (75%) had no previous research experience. ap biology essay rubrics 2002 The following passages illustrate how we have applied the BBT at either a research-one institution or a liberal arts college in three different classroom contexts: (1) a small inquiry-based laboratory, (2) a large lecture, and (3) a medium-sized workshop setting.In reviewing these results, it appeared that certain criteria were much more challenging for students than other criteria.For example, a question rated at the analysis level would require knowledge (facts), comprehension (understanding of facts), application (predicting outcomes), and analysis (inference).We found the BBT a useful guide for faculty in diagnosing students' aptitudes and creating new assignments to help students develop critical-thinking skills.Likewise, we observed a strong increase in student ability to interpret their data and design their own hypotheses, skills that require analysis and synthesis levels of Bloom's, respectively.It is nevertheless challenging to develop fill-in-the-blank questions that require higher than application-level thinking, but we have provided one such example (Supplemental Material A; Virology).From this work we also created a suite of complementary tools that can assist biology faculty in creating classroom materials and exams at the appropriate level of Bloom's Taxonomy and students to successfully develop and answer questions that require higher-order cognitive skills.We have developed the Blooming Biology Tool (BBT; Table 1), which can be used to assess the Bloom's Taxonomy level of questions on biology-related topics.Alignment of course activities and testing strategies with learning outcomes is critical to effective course design (Wiggins and Mc Tighe, 1998; Sundberg, 2002; Ebert-May , 2003; Fink, 2003; Tanner and Allen, 2004; Bissell and Lemons, 2006).As these data were derived from two different populations of students (fall and winter quarter), the students' scores were analyzed according to their rank order using a nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis test, which does not assume that the two data sets possess a normal distribution.To assist us in developing the rubric, we each independently ranked approximately 100 life science exam questions and then extensively discussed our analyses to reach consensus.We have provided examples for three different subdisciplines of biology: cell biology, physiology, and virology, (Supplemental Material A).Over the course of the quarter, groups of three or four students read primary scientific literature on their topic of interest, formulated new hypotheses, and designed and performed a pilot study to gather preliminary data in support of their hypotheses (see Table 4 for timeline).Students are motivated to perform well on examinations; therefore, the cognitive challenge of exam questions can strongly influence students' study strategies (Gardiner, 1994; Scouller, 1998).Table 4 presents the timelines of implementation of each teaching strategy.We developed the Blooming Biology Tool (BBT), an assessment tool based on Bloom's Taxonomy, to assist science faculty in better aligning their assessments with their teaching activities and to help students enhance their study skills and metacognition.As with all assessment methods, we expect the BBT to continue to evolve through an iterative process.To facilitate evaluation of the students' research proposals, a grading rubric was developed (Walvoord and Anderson, 1998; Allen and Tanner, 2006).For example, the second quarters' students earned an average of 80% of the total possible points for discussing inherent limitations to their research design compared with only 61% in the previous quarter.Students often have difficulty performing at these higher levels (Zoller, 1993; Bransford , 2000; Bailin, 2002). ap biology essay rubrics 2002 Implementation of the BBT helped us to adjust our teaching to better enhance our students' current mastery of the material, design questions at higher cognitive skills levels, and assist students in studying for college-level exams and in writing study questions at higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy.The class was taught during consecutive quarters with a new cohort of students each quarter.Continuous feedback from students and faculty using the tool will inform its evolution.Interestingly, students on average were harsher critics of their peers than the instructor in areas where they felt most confident (e.g., presentation style), whereas they awarded higher scores than the instructor in areas where they were less knowledgeable (e.g., research design).Students were then assigned a new set of three proposals that they evaluated individually.Indeed, one of the most significant ways to impact the quality of student learning is through the improvement of our assessments (Entwistle and Entwistle, 1992). One approach is to use Bloom's Taxonomy of cognitive domains (Bloom , 1956), hereafter referred to as “Bloom's.” Bloom's is a well-defined and broadly accepted tool for categorizing types of thinking into six different levels: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.Second, as suggested by the BLASt, students evaluated their peers' research proposals from the previous quarter.Each question was ranked at the highest level of Blooms' taxonomy required for its solution.The BBT was first designed and extensively tested for a study in which we ranked almost 600 science questions from college life science exams and standardized tests.The BBT reflects the progression of our insights into how to adapt a general assessment method to the discipline-specific skills inherent to biology.In a small, upper-division, inquiry-driven cell biology laboratory class (two sections of 11 students each) at a research-one institution, the BBT was used to evaluate student performance and redesign course activities to enhance student learning.Common difficulties were discussed with the class as a whole; however, neither the grading criteria nor the rubric were made explicit to the students.If classroom activities focus on concepts requiring HOCS but faculty test only on factual recall, students quickly learn that they do not need to put forth the effort to learn the material at a high level.The primary writing assignment in the course (worth 1/3 of the total grade) was a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-style research proposal.However, fill-in the blank, true-false, and multiple-choice questions can be designed to test analysis-level skills.Most faculty would agree that academic success should be measured not just in terms of what students can remember, but what students are able to do with their knowledge.For example, whereas 41% of the students provided a well-thought-out and insightful discussion of their study's broader societal and scientific impact, Subsequent to determining student proficiency in each area, the BBT was used to categorize each criterion based on the highest cognitive domain it demanded (Table 5).Bloom's has been used widely since the 1960s in K-12 education (Kunen , 2003).In developing these multi-level questions, we considered what a student must know or be able to do in order to answer the question.While ranking questions, we found it helpful to “check-off” each level of Bloom's required to successfully answer the question. ap biology essay rubrics 2002 An essential component of this reform is the development of reliable tools that reinforce and assess these new teaching strategies. ap biology essay rubrics 2002

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