An econference to assess human biology in large, first-year classes
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We detail the design, implementation and evaluation of an eConference entitled ''Biohorizons", using a presage-process-product model to describe the development of an eLearning community. Biohorizons was a summative learning and assessment task aiming to introduce large classes of first-year Human Biology students to the practices of professional scientists. It was implemented in semester 1 for students enrolled in Pharmacy and Human Movement Studies degree programs, and in semester 2, for Science students. Pairs of students selected a topic of interest in Human Biology, registered into on-line clusters, then developed and wrote a short scientific paper and accompanying PowerPoint presentation. They then individually participated in an online Discussion. All three tasks were assessed using standards- referenced assessment rubrics. Learning was supported by eTutors, working in asynchronous mode. Biohorizons was evaluated by analyzing student achievement data, surveys and focus group interviews. Most students were able to achieve high academic standards (global mean scores for semester 1, 85-96%; semester 2, 81-90%). Student evaluations support: 1) the successful integration of eLearning into large classes of Human Biology, 2) the engagement of first-year students through collaborative learning, and 3) the fostering of learning through challenging assessment relevant to the core practices of professional scientists.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Curriculum and Pedagogy not elsewhere classified