July 15, 2012-March 31, 2013
Level of Access
This project is supporting a workshop to convene biology education researchers to plan out the development and validation of a Biology Competencies Assessment Series (BCAS). The BCAS will consist of several multiple-choice and short-answer questions validated by students and designed to evaluate student progress on learning biology concepts and achieving the competencies recommended in "Vision and Change: A Call to Action." In particular, the workshop is bringing together Principal Investigators of both new and established TUES projects related to developing assessment tools to address effectiveness of instruction.
Intellectual merit: The project provides the opportunity for experts in biology educational research to work towards the development of assessments that track the progress of students at multiple points in their undergraduate careers. The opportunity to plan also allows participants to share (and not replicate) efforts to standardize the protocols for validating the questions important to the biology community.
Broader impacts: The project plans a consensus set of tools to help the larger biology community assess how well students are mastering the concepts and competencies outlined in national initiatives. From an educational perspective, this workshop provides promising advances to standard measurement for student learning that allows biology departments across the country to use data-driven processes to align their teaching practices and curricula with learning goals prescribed in several national reports including "Vision and Change."
This project is being funded by the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, Division of Undergraduate Education as part of its efforts toward supporting the goals and objectives of "Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education."
Smith, Michelle K., "Development of the Biology Competencies Assessment Series (BCAS)" (2013). University of Maine Office of Research and Sponsored Programs: Grant Reports. 394.