Evaluation of web-based assessment for Immunology Open Learning

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					Evaluation of web-based assessment for ‘Immunology Open Learning’
Dr Anne Cunningham School of Sciences

1. Present the concept of web-based ‘Immunology Open learning’. 2. Discuss the benefits and disadvantages of this form of delivery & assessment. 3. Evaluate student experience. 4. Discuss the lessons learned and future directions.

What is ‘Immunology Open Learning’ and how is it assessed on-line?

The challenge of Immunology
• Immunology is the study of defence against disease. • Complex system - all areas of the body are specifically defended against foreign organisms and self tumours. • Immunologists have invented their own meta-language (eg CD1-200, IL1-20 etc etc).

Aims of ‘Immunology Open Learning’
• Curriculum enrichment. • Nomenclature:
- help students learn the language and therefore access the subject.

• To consolidate key concepts. • Continuous revision aid.

Design & Organisation (MP / AC):
main menu GLOSSARY

INTRODUCTION n=5 lessons

KEY CONCEPTS n= 10 lessons

ADVANCED lessons












Assessments were written as pdf files, viewed with Adobe Acrobat, submitted to the data-capture bureau in LDS then exported into EXCEL reports.



Structure of a lesson 1 (source material)
• Define thread, lesson title & aims • Material (~ 500 words) with hyper-text links to glossary terms • Activity • Feedback (affirmation / help 2 + options) • Access to searchable glossary / forum 3 + web pages

Structure of a lesson 2 (formative assessment)
• • • • Define thread, lesson title & aims Short explanatory text Self assessment activities (eg 3) Multiple feedback opportunities (correct / partially correct / incorrect) • Access to searchable glossary / forum 7+ web pages

Structure of a lesson 3 (summative assessment)
• • • • • Define thread, lesson title & aims Instruction text Open Adobe Acrobat Fill in unique identifier Complete on-line form (MCQ / one word answer / text boxes) • Submit completed form to data capture bureau • Access to searchable glossary / forum 2 web pages

• Design & Organisation • Searchable glossary • Open Forum • Feedback

Submission statistics
• 387 submissions were made between 18th October and 15th December, 2000.

• 58% were submitted in the last week. • 75% were submitted between 9am - 5pm. • 90% were submitted on week days (Monday - Friday).

12/15/00 19:28 12/15/00 13:09 12/15/00 9:54 12/14/00 19:04 12/14/00 15:34 12/14/00 13:23 12/14/00 10:14 12/13/00 12:23 12/13/00 11:18 12/13/00 9:58 12/11/00 10:52 12/9/00 15:56 12/5/00 15:14 12/2/00 15:22 11/27/00 11:13 11/19/00 17:25 11/14/00 13:06 11/13/00 7:46 10/30/00 14:01 10/23/00 12:28

Cumulative submission histogram

Last week - - - - 6 weeks - - - - First week

Site Statistics - last 5 months

Sat/Sun 16% usage

~ 400 hits
(S1 module)

What were the benefits and disadvantages of this form of delivery?

• Lessons could be submitted any time in the semester until the hand in date. • Collusion and copying was not evident. • Collection of submitted assessments was robust. • Collation and organisation of student marks was simplified.

• Student work was not receipted. • Not all students submitted all their assessments. • Quality control survey:
– Not all students completed the assessment – Some students didn’t realise they hadn’t submitted occasional lessons – On and off campus submission was effective

 What was the student experience of on-line delivery & assessment?

Positive Feedback 
• Ability to submit work on-line was perceived as one of the most attractive features! • Searchable glossary. • Help with revision. • Ability to ask questions at the open Forum. • Variety in teaching and learning techniques.

Points of concern 
• Comfort ~ one third of students printed off the lessons and worked off-line. • Organisation – students didn’t find it easy to use traditional reference sources when on-line. • Time management – eg students didn’t have their books with them when they were at computer workstations.

• Quality of the work-space around the computers on campus:
– Space – Availability – Noise levels

• Cost of accessing the internet off campus:
– Want to work at home

 Lessons learned and future directions

• Immunology open learning was effectively delivered and assessed via the web. • Students liked on-line submissions, the searchable glossary and a forum to ask questions. • Data capture was secure, reliable and an effective way to collate student work.

Personal Insights
• Valuable support material – pass rates have substantially improved since the introduction of web-based open learning. • Never underestimate:
– the work involved… – the end point…

• Students use and value the material in unexpected ways.

Points to address
• Advise students to keep a hard copy of submitted work. • Ensure submitted work receives a receipt of the same integrity as traditional coursework. • Quality of workspace around computers on campus.

Future directions
• Integration of resources to support teaching & learning of Immunology throughout the Biomedical Sciences degree.

• Stand alone option is now available (BIO224 – validated 10 credit level 2 module).

Design & Delivery Content

Mike Pinchin
Sean Taylor Ben Royal
Adrian Brockett Susan Jones

Bernie Mahon (NUI,
Eire) Joanne Harrison

Lucy Smyth

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