Description

NEUR 1030 is a large lecture course serving about 150 students and a required course for Neuroscience and Cognitive Neuroscience concentrators. In the course, students are pushed to work on their higher-order cognitive skills including applying concepts to new situations and interpreting and analyzing data and research findings. Prof. Linden used Canvas' built-in exam tools along with digital proctoring software to create a secure testing environment. Prof. Linden designed the exams to assess student's higher-order reasoning and used Canvas' analytics to measure the development of these skills over the course of the semester.

Dr. Linden has been helping students who come to her office hours by reviewing their exam performance with them so that they can understand their knowledge and skills gap. Students many times are good at memorizing material but perform poorly on questions that need applying concepts. Their study habits brought from high school such as studying with flashcards are not enough in a college level course. By reviewing their performance on exams Dr. Linden was able to help them shift their approach to learning so that they can work on their higher order learning skills. The objective of this project was to bring this kind of feedback to all the students in the class.

Components

Software & Hardware
  • Canvas Quiz tool.

  • Respondus Lockdown Browser & Proctorio for secure testing environments.

  • Students used their own computers for test-taking. 

People involved
  • Instructor

  • 2 TAs

  • ITG: Instructional Designer and tech support on the day of exam to make sure everything worked smoothly. ITG also had to make available multiple spaces with computers as well as loaner laptops for students whose devices did not work well with the exam tool. Explored and tested multiple exam tools.

Other tools:
  • Lectures using multimedia PowerPoints: Helps spark interest in certain topics, and better illustrate complicated concepts.

  • iClickers: Assessing students in real-time with iClickers gives an idea of where students are in terms of the lower order knowledge that allows Dr. Linden to move onto higher order ideas more efficiently.

  • Lecture capture: Allows students to re-watch complicated parts of the lecture or to catch-up if they miss a class. It was also used when Dr. Linden could not attend class due to a conference.   

  • Electronic course reader: Provides students with a free option in place of the printed course reader. In addition it also includes hyperlinks for easy referencing throughout the book.

  • Canvas course site: Keeps the readings, and assessments organized and easily accessible. Readings for each lecture were added to the calendar. Assessments and grades were in Canvas.  

    Methods

    Students were asked to take exams (multiple choice and short answer/brief essay questions) online so that Dr. Linden and her TAs could easily generate detailed, personalized exam feedback forms for the students. The individualized feedback included a breakdown of exam performance based on subject material, learning objectives, and levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. This was expected to help students refine their study habits to improve performance in the course.