Teaming up to re-imagine large-class education: Cross-discipline and course cases with in-class student group work and innovative immediate feedback assessment

Teaming up to re-imagine large-class education: Cross-discipline and course cases with in-class student group work and innovative immediate feedback assessment

  • Melody Neumann, Department of Cell and System Biology, Faculty of Arts and Science
  • Franco Taverna, Human Biology Program, Faculty of Arts and Science
  • Michelle French, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine

 Abstract

The goal of the project is to develop and assess a novel cross-disciplinary and interactive model for teaching large classes. Specifically through the creation of video case studies with a storytelling arc that spans three disciplines in biology. These will be used in three foundational courses: BIO130H, PSL301H, and HMB200H (yearly enrollment = ~3500). Students will first view videos outside of class, and once in class they will work in small groups to answer questions that emphasize key concepts and their real-world application. Teaching assistants will facilitate group discussions and relay areas of confusion to the instructor. The same cases will be used in each course with additional videos/readings included for course-specific relevance. A feature will be the in-class use of Team Up! (an award-winning app developed by one of us for online courses),which allows students to form groups and submit group answers. The app provides immediate feedback: groups get full marks if they select the correct answer on the first try and partial marks with subsequent attempts. We predict that this approach will foster student engagement and a greater understanding of biology. Furthermore, key concepts will be reinforced as students revisit the cases in subsequent courses. All three instructors will attend each other’s case-study sessions to identify best practices. Additional methods to assess success will include student surveys and student performance measures.