COURSE or PROGRAM TITLE: Introduction to Biology (Biology 122)

PARTICIPANTS (min. 2): Maria Kretzmann and Claire Mulski


1. Mendelian genetics


Pre-test including a Punnett square problem solving exercise and 3 related multiple choice questions administered during the first week of class, with the same questions included on a later exam.

ANALYSIS OF ASSESSMENT: What do these results tell you about your students' achievements on the targeted SLO(s)?

In the three sections evaluated, there was an average 40-52% improvement between the pre-test and the post-test scores. Of 97 students tested, 22 (23%) performed at A level (>90% correct) on the post-test, while NO student had this sort of mastery on the pre-test. Four students went from zero on the pre-test to 100% on the post-test. In all three sections, more than half of students (56-64%) showed passing level mastery of this topic, which has been our goal for this non-majors course.

PLAN: Indicate if your assessment results reveal a need for course or program improvement in order to improve student achievement, and what plans your department will make to do so.

We are satisfied that our goal was met for this SLO in this course this semester, and will try to maintain our extra practice during lecture as well as one whole lab devoted to this topic, as it seems to be working well. The results were significantly better than last semester when the same SLO was assessed by the same instructors for the same course.


In the nursing program we have several sources of data on a nation wide level. We have our NCLEX passing rate. This is the national test the students take on graduation to obtain a license to practice nursing. It does not give use any other data then a pass or fail percentage. We also have a mid curriculum and exit exam offered on line and proctored. The exit exam is nation wide and gives us data on how our students scored in comparison to diploma grads, other ADN grads and BSN grads. In addition, it breaks down the results into a plethora of categories from nursing process, to pathophysiology, to practice settings just to name a few. Trust me it is robust.

I noted about 2 years ago that we consistently scored poorly on the “evaluation” of nursing actions of care given. It is a difficult area to teach. I have a background in managing accreditation reviews by outside agencies and know the need to gather data, analyze it and show the agencies that you are evaluating the care given. At the same time, Nurse Managers in all practice settings are trying to engage the “bedside nurse” is reading the graphs of the data analysis to seek their input on execution of better care. Seriously, you cannot go to the staff bathroom on most nursing units without seeing a graph of a patient care item placed at eye level as you sit. And yet when these same nurses are questioned on the information contained in the graph, they state, “Oh, that is just for management and does not concern me.”

Attached is an activity we added to the preceptorship clinical in NURS 214, a teaching intervention so to speak. We have the students go to the nursing units and ask the prompts given. During the course of this activity, one of our students was asked by the NM to present the info gleaned to the staff to engage them in the performance improvement process. The students now use this finish document as a portfolio item during interview. The National exit exam scores in the category of evaluation went up dramatically. I was very pleased.


The College of Marin has been very successful in making institutional changes in regards to their student pathways--cohorts of students:

They were looking at various data and "realized that the output measures used to determine success depended upon the goals of a particular cohort of students.  This led us to completely re-think the way we organized the college.  We designed an organization model based upon student goals.  In doing so, we developed, with the cooperation of the administration and most specifically the college president and the vice president of student learning, five student pathways..."

Basically, at the College of Marin, they have made revolutionary changes in defining goals for students and how they should measure the success of those cohorts of students.

This is an incredible success story of how a college went about fixing the needs and measuring the successes of students in what they call their five student pathways.



Last updated: 3/27/2013 9:19:52 AM