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TESTS FOR EVALUATING RESULTS OF MEDICAL CHEMISTRY COURSE AND PROMOTING STUDENT SELF-ASSESSMENT

TESTS FOR EVALUATING RESULTS OF MEDICAL CHEMISTRY COURSE AND PROMOTING STUDENT SELF-ASSESSMENT
Irina Kazusa, mg.env.sc., lecturer

Рижский университет им. П.Страдиня, Латвия

Участник конференции

The most efficient way for medicine students to master medical chemistry course during first semester over a short period of time is by actively participating in group work using methods which develop critical thinking. This research describes evaluation of student results in medical chemistry course, their critical thinking levels and their self-evaluation skill development.

Keywords: assessing, assessment higher education, self-estimation, critical thinking, study process, reflection.

     

The basic goal of education is to promote conditions for independence, in order for students to be able to evaluate their own work. By understanding the criteria used for grading, students gain motivation and justification for self-assessment. The role of the lecturer in the study process is to create a learning environment which requires integration of knowledge, skills and evaluation of both the results as well as the study process itself thus stimulating students to actively participate in the learning process.

Within this research author evaluates the level of knowledge gained by first-year medical students in chemistry course by using methods which develop critical thinking, self-assessment skills and studying skills.

A grade based on an evaluation system is not just a way of assessing knowledge, skills and abilities since the evaluation process itself as well as self-assessment becomes important. The ability to evaluate own work methods and results must become an integral part of studying skills. By objectively assessing the quality of learning, student improves study results. It is lecturer’s duty to create an effective evaluation process which serves not only as a way of control, but also includes two-way communication between lecturers and students.

Evaluation and self-assessment is a unified process where evaluation performed by lecturer serves as a tool for developing self-assessment skills and can be used for comparison.

At the beginning of the studies students lack systematicity, structural integrity and succession. It is accidental rather than logical and insufficiently flexible and objective. Evaluation necessary for development of student’s competence and personal progression implies diversity of evaluation methods as well as integration of quantitative and qualitative methods. By assessing own achievements, students - through reflection - critically analyze own strong points thus gaining new stimulation for improvement by purposefully broadening self-realization opportunities and heading towards self-organized study process.

In order to motivate students for further development of own competence, an analysis of current situation is necessary by assessing previously obtained knowledge and skills and determining the necessary study method. Students must be informed regarding forthcoming tests already in the first day of the course. If student is presented with expected results and understands what combination of knowledge and skills should be obtained, it is much easier to plan actions necessary for obtaining the results.

After that students can be confident that actions will proceed according to plan, topics tested will conform to actual situations, the goal, structure and criteria of tests will be clearly understood and they will be able to receive consultations regarding unclear questions.

Freshman-year students have varying levels of critical thinking due to differences in their previous study experience. Before evaluating critical thinking the readiness for studies, chemistry knowledge, attitude towards chemistry as well as self-organization skills are assessed. Based on obtained information, priorities are determined for skills which are to be developed. These may vary from group to group (latvian students vs foreign students studying in Latvia, more vs less advanced students, highly motivated vs unmotivated students). The next step is to develop evaluation criteria. Based on used methods, there are several evaluation options which take into account the gained knowledge, different levels of critical thinking as well as information gathering and analysis skills, dialogical and problem-solving skills.

By analyzing the existing experience in mastering chemistry course, it is important to highlight the significance of finding mistakes rather than the grades themselves. Analyzing and correcting own mistakes are one of the steps towards self-assessment. By reducing contact hours the importance of self-guided study process where tests are an integral part of understanding the progress increases.

The developed didactic model is based on action-oriented student-centric approach which can be practically evaluated, assessed and - if necessary - adjusted. The didactic model which gives the best results with freshman-year students is work in small groups with accented practical work. In such a way, all of the students are actively involved in lesson. 80% of contact hours are devoted for practical work and 20% of contact hours - for lectures. By analyzing the test results and student questionnaires, a conclusion can be drawn that, by organizing the study process in such a manner, it is possible to obtain positive results in medical chemistry course while developing student’s critical thinking skills and their self-organization skills.

Effectiveness of the components of the study process (study goal, tasks, content, didactic model, evaluation and result analysis) depends on their functionality as well as on how the components are united together. Any change in one of the components can affect the whole process. Effectiveness of the accomplished tasks is done by comparing the results with goals set. The main goals are perception of human metabolism as the basis of chemical processes within a human body as well as critical analysis of information in order to detect e.g. causes of a disease or to realize actual solutions of medical problems.

The didactic base element which makes theoretic studies more effective is adjusting universal critical thinking methods to a certain purpose - mastering chemistry course. Therefore critical thinking development is not a goal of medical education in itself, but rather an integral component of it. An effective and advisable is intensive work in small groups by introducing students to different methods of information analysis, graphical ways of systemizing information, development of dialogue and development of problem solving skills.

The bases of intensive practical work are freely available study materials allowing for students to study theory independently. Students are provided with both printed and electronic study material, including:

  • ● books specific for studying medicine as well as lecture materials containing logical and illustrative examples highlighting unproductiveness of  unambiguous assessments;
  • ● specially prepared problems with solution examples, solution of which involves evaluation of the essence of the problem, justification of provided facts, precision, errors or inadequacies;
  • ● laboratory exercise descriptions which are meant for obtaining scientific research skills (development of theories, their repeated practical justification and statistical processing and analysis of the results as well as drawing conclusions);
  • ● examples of gathering and analyzing information, illustrative materials, graphical information organizers etc.

The effectiveness of usage of study methods and materials can be assessed only by testing student knowledge, skills and competence. It can be done by regularly assessing the mastered theoretic material, practical work and their protocols as well as problem-task solving skills. At the same time the student self-assessment skills gradually are being developed as part of unified evaluation process where students clearly understand evaluation criteria used by lecturers as well as structure of tests. By knowing the evaluation criteria and structure of tests, students have reference points to use when developing the self-assessment criteria. Information about forthcoming tests also lessens the tension among students because:

  • ● students are informed about the topic and size of the test,
  • ● tests are planned for the whole semester,
  • ● students have opportunities of diversifying tests,
  • ● in case of any uncertainties it is possible to seek help before tests,
  • ● before larger complex tests there are weekly (preliminary) tests,
  • ● tests include both theoretical questions as well as mandatory or optional practical tasks which motivate students to improve their results.

Bases on importance of the tests and time necessary for its completion, it is possible to diversify the tests.

Within study process, tests serve as feedback and their results are an informative link between students and lecturers illustrating the effectiveness of the study process. It motivates all the parties involved in this process to adjust their work to achieve set goals.

Gage formulates tests as a method of obtaining evaluation of achievements. Also - test results are easier to collect and interpret than other forms of assessment which can be used to evaluate study process [1].

A test result is credible if all evaluation goals and test questions conform to study material. In completely credible evaluation independent evaluators by using the same criteria should come to the same conclusions regarding test. Specific criteria are determined for each individual evaluation method are developed by lecturers. Student achievements are evaluated by comparing them to the study course programs and their corresponding goals, study results i.e. levels of knowledge, skills and competence obtained within a specific study course against the specific evaluation criteria.

Diagnostical tests actualize student’s previous experience and show further direction for work. They allow assessing one's own level of knowledge and skills and understanding intensity level for any further action. Students must evaluate their solutions by finding out the correct answers. The goal of self-assessment is to create motivation for repeating and integrating already known information and to direct students towards finding more effective solutions while at the same time creating a concept about medical chemistry as aggregation of all natural sciences.

Formative tests are one of the most important ways of improving study quality.

“... formative assessment does improve learning. The gains in achievement appear to be quite considerable, and as noted earlier, among the largest ever reported for educational interventions [2].

Formative/weekly tests have several options. They are tests, problem-solving tasks, fact reproduction, systemization and analysis of new information as well as its integration with already known. Student’s ability to select information sources, usage of different reading strategies, adequate perception of information read, classification of information based on its importance, ability to filter out unnecessary information, critical evaluation of new information as well as conclusion drawing and generalization skills - all are being evaluated. Formative tests check memorized facts corresponding to lowest level of Bloom’s taxonomy as well as problem-solving skills which correspond to the next level of taxonomy. Evaluation of such tests are limited to “passed”/”failed” [3]. In order to assess skills and competence, apart from fact reproduction, tests also include problem-solving tasks and descriptions of problem-situations thus making error analysis more important than the evaluation itself.

Topic based tests (preliminary tests) are colloquiums which assess reproduction and understanding of theoretic material as well as information analysis and skills of practically using obtained knowledge.

It is very important to understand which errors are accidental and insignificant and which are due to obscurity and ambiguity. Error analysis based on evaluation criteria must promote a sense that even though everyone can make a mistake, it is very important to understand which errors can have irreversible consequences in medicine. Quantitative errors are not acceptable as they contradict logic and conformity to natural laws. Students, however, occasionally assume they are insignificant because “... the calculator gave the result...”. Most of the time student’s can understand their mistakes based on lecturers comments and corrections.

Final test is a written exam in medical chemistry. It must conform to the following criteria:

  • 1. It has to conform to curriculum and reflect student knowledge.
  • 2. Apart from fact reproduction, it must include student’s concepts of generalization and abstraction.
  • 3. It must not induce a sense of threat but rather serve as motivation for achieving better results [4].

In no way is medical chemistry course designed as straightforward preparation for passing final exam as it can often happens when motivating students only by successful passing of the exam.

Complete information regarding forthcoming tests provides equal opportunities for all students irrespective of possible nuances in lecturers work and lessens the impact of subjective factors. Solutions and calculations in theoretic and problem-solving tasks included in different variants of the exam allow evaluation of student’s analytical skills and knowledge.

Information about effectiveness of the studies serves as a link between students and lecturers and it can be obtained via daily observations, via dialogues with students as well as from test results.

The feedback when coming from the teacher may have little meaning to the learner if it can be seen as a judgment on them rather than their work [5].

The result of the test is information describing student’s skills, knowledge, competence as well the study process itself, effectiveness of study materials and quality of tests [1].

Evaluation of tests used in medical chemistry course (tests, individual and group work, problem solving, protocols pf practical work, presentations, exam) is an integral part of study process and serves several roles simultaneously.

Based on results of evaluation it is possible to judge achievements of individual students and their previous knowledge before transition to the next study unit as well as to point out study priorities and influence their attitude towards studies. It is also possible to increase student’s confidence and trust in their own abilities by highlighting the skills used for solving problems rather than the results themselves as well as to make decisions regarding individual students [6].

In addition to already mentioned functions, evaluation process - consciously or unconsciously - realizes other significant functions in study process, e.g. self-assessment, reflexion about studies and results, connection of obtained information with other study subjects, repetition while highlighting that this information is already known albeit in different context.

Conclusions

  • 1. Intensive work, systematic evaluation of completed work and objective assessment are main preconditions for mastering high amount of study material in short amount of time.
  • 2. By fully understanding evaluation criteria, students are motivated to achieve highest possible results without creating a false illusion of requirements being unrealistic and unachievable.
  • 3. Information for evaluating knowledge, skills and competence is obtained from tests (tests, practical work in groups and individually, problem solving, protocols of practical work, presentations and exam) while constantly determining student’s level of development.

          

References:

  • 1. Gage L. N., Berliner D. C. Educational Psychology Translated byZ. Rozenberga. - Riga : Zvaigzne ABC, 1999. - 662 pp. (in Latvian)
  • 2. Black P., Wiliam D. Assessment and Classroom Learning, Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice, CARFAX, Oxfordshire, 1998. Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 7-74.
  • 3. Bloom B.S. All our children learning: A primer for parents, teachers, and other educators. 1981. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • 4. Peter T. Knight Summative Assessment in Higher Education: practices in disarray. Studies in Higher Education 2002. Volume 27, No.3,http://wustl.edu/community/faculty-staff/assets/Summative-Assessment.pdf
  • 5. Robinson A., Udall M. Using formative assessment to improve student learning through critical reflection Innovative Assessment in Higher Education 2006 New York.
  • 6. Pratt D. Curriculum: Design and development San Diego a.o.: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980. XIV, 503 p.
Комментарии: 13

Игропуло Ирина Федоровна

Уважаемая Ирина! Благодарю за интересную статью. Мне понравилась Ваша позиция, аргументированно и последовательно раскрывающая этапы, условия и формы организации тестирования по медицинской химии. Вам удалось представить целостную модель комплексного решения не только дидактических, но и воспитательных задач в процессе тестирования. Желаю дальнейших успехов.

Гавриленко Екатерина Николаевна

Than you for interesting materials conserning independant assessement of medical students in the process of mastering of professional knowledge.

Kazusa Irina

Thank you for positive comments. With best wishes, Irina Kazusa

Панфилова Альвина Павловна

09/30/2013- 10.00 - Альвина Панфилова Уважаемая Ирина, не смотря на то, что тестирование и разработано и прописано, я вижу в вашем исследовании инновационность проблемы в том, что вы наполняете эту широко амортизированную методику диагностики знаний новыми содержательными инструментами, а именно:..."Эффективным и целесообразным является интенсивная работа в малых группах, вводя студентов с различными методами анализа информации, графические способы систематизации информации, развития диалога и развития навыков решения проблем". На самом деле, тестирование с помощью ситуаций-упражнений, ситуаций-задач, диалогических заданий, решения проблемных упражнений - это очень важный компонент диагностических возможностей определения качества знаний, как на "входе", так и " на выходе". Вот о последнем хотелось бы узнать, проводите ли вы такое тестирование? Так же мне импонирует, что на практические занятия уходит 80% учебного времени. На мой взгляд - это правильно, при интенсивных практических, с использованием активных методов и работе в малых группах усвояемость материала повышается до 90% (данные ЮНЕСКО). Мне также импонирует, что вы развиваете метанавыки, а именно критическое мышление, которое врачам очень нужно. Этим должны заниматься все специалисты, преподающие разные дисциплины. Думаю также, что от тестирования, как и от лекции, мы вряд ли когда-нибудь откажемся, но как лекция развивается в сторону активизации слушателя (лекция-дискуссия, бинарная лекция, лекция с включением микроситуаций и проч.), так и тестирование приобретает в последние годы многообразные формы, как по содержанию, так и по инструментам применения. На мой взгляд, именно это может стать интересной проблемой для исследования. Желаю дальнейших успехов, с уважением, Альвина Павловна

Kazusa Irina

Благодарю за очень исчерповающий коментарий. В короткой статье не раскрыть все нюансы полученного опыта. Отвечая на ваш вопрос о определении качества знаний, как на "входе", так и " на выходе", целесообразно давать студентам один и тотже вариант проверочной работы в начале и в конце занятия. Такая проверка очень разряжает обстановку. Варианты проверки работ могут быть разные: 1. самооценка; 2. проверка сокурсником; 3.проверка преподавателем. Используются и традиционные формы проверок, но поставленные задачи включают все пройденные на тот момент темы.

Gojkov, Grozdanka

Поштована колегинице, Још једном сам читала Ваш текст. Предлажем га за 1. место у вредновању ових радова. Грозданка Гојков

Kazusa Irina

Thank you for positive comments. With best wishes, Irina Kazusa

Gojkov, Grozdanka

Дакле, у овом приручнику ВИСОКОШКОЛСКА ДИДАКТИКА користићу неке од идеја о подстицању критичког мишљења и доприноса самовредновања развоју критичког мишљења, мотивације и сл. Молила бих Вас, ако имате још оваквих текстова, да ми пошаљете на мој мејл. Унапред хвала, Грозданка Гојков

Gojkov, Grozdanka

Поштована колегинице, ово је врло значајан текст. Ја се и сама бавим високошколском дидактиком и докимологијом, те ми је ово врло блиско, а и интересантно. Тренутно радим други део једног приручника ВИСОКОШКОЛСКА ДИДАКТИКА

Саносян Хачатур

Уважаемая Ирина. Обоснование тестов и механизм процесса тестирования является одной из разработанных разделов науки. Вы полнистью релизовали накопленный опыты. Но думается, что тесты должны являться вспомогательным инструментом при оценивании студентов. Приоритетным должно быть живоее общение. С уважением , Х.А. Саносян

Prashko Helen

Добрый день. Такой вид оценивания знаний, на наш взгляд, очень эффективынй. Это и есть компетентностный подход к образованию. Возможность диалога, рефлексии в учебном процессе - путь к надежному усвоению знаний. И речь в Вашей статье идет не столько об оценивании, сколько о возможностях качественного образования, которое можно получить только в процессе активного усвоения знаний. Спасибо. С уважением, Прашко Елена Владимировна.

Stepanova Anastasia

Я считаю, что виды контроля можно расширить

Искак Наби

Уважаемая автор! Вы правы в том. что для объективной оценки нужно довести до сведения студентов критерии оценки. Единственное. что не согласен с Вами, так это в том, что весь контроль сводится к тестам.
Комментарии: 13

Игропуло Ирина Федоровна

Уважаемая Ирина! Благодарю за интересную статью. Мне понравилась Ваша позиция, аргументированно и последовательно раскрывающая этапы, условия и формы организации тестирования по медицинской химии. Вам удалось представить целостную модель комплексного решения не только дидактических, но и воспитательных задач в процессе тестирования. Желаю дальнейших успехов.

Гавриленко Екатерина Николаевна

Than you for interesting materials conserning independant assessement of medical students in the process of mastering of professional knowledge.

Kazusa Irina

Thank you for positive comments. With best wishes, Irina Kazusa

Панфилова Альвина Павловна

09/30/2013- 10.00 - Альвина Панфилова Уважаемая Ирина, не смотря на то, что тестирование и разработано и прописано, я вижу в вашем исследовании инновационность проблемы в том, что вы наполняете эту широко амортизированную методику диагностики знаний новыми содержательными инструментами, а именно:..."Эффективным и целесообразным является интенсивная работа в малых группах, вводя студентов с различными методами анализа информации, графические способы систематизации информации, развития диалога и развития навыков решения проблем". На самом деле, тестирование с помощью ситуаций-упражнений, ситуаций-задач, диалогических заданий, решения проблемных упражнений - это очень важный компонент диагностических возможностей определения качества знаний, как на "входе", так и " на выходе". Вот о последнем хотелось бы узнать, проводите ли вы такое тестирование? Так же мне импонирует, что на практические занятия уходит 80% учебного времени. На мой взгляд - это правильно, при интенсивных практических, с использованием активных методов и работе в малых группах усвояемость материала повышается до 90% (данные ЮНЕСКО). Мне также импонирует, что вы развиваете метанавыки, а именно критическое мышление, которое врачам очень нужно. Этим должны заниматься все специалисты, преподающие разные дисциплины. Думаю также, что от тестирования, как и от лекции, мы вряд ли когда-нибудь откажемся, но как лекция развивается в сторону активизации слушателя (лекция-дискуссия, бинарная лекция, лекция с включением микроситуаций и проч.), так и тестирование приобретает в последние годы многообразные формы, как по содержанию, так и по инструментам применения. На мой взгляд, именно это может стать интересной проблемой для исследования. Желаю дальнейших успехов, с уважением, Альвина Павловна

Kazusa Irina

Благодарю за очень исчерповающий коментарий. В короткой статье не раскрыть все нюансы полученного опыта. Отвечая на ваш вопрос о определении качества знаний, как на "входе", так и " на выходе", целесообразно давать студентам один и тотже вариант проверочной работы в начале и в конце занятия. Такая проверка очень разряжает обстановку. Варианты проверки работ могут быть разные: 1. самооценка; 2. проверка сокурсником; 3.проверка преподавателем. Используются и традиционные формы проверок, но поставленные задачи включают все пройденные на тот момент темы.

Gojkov, Grozdanka

Поштована колегинице, Још једном сам читала Ваш текст. Предлажем га за 1. место у вредновању ових радова. Грозданка Гојков

Kazusa Irina

Thank you for positive comments. With best wishes, Irina Kazusa

Gojkov, Grozdanka

Дакле, у овом приручнику ВИСОКОШКОЛСКА ДИДАКТИКА користићу неке од идеја о подстицању критичког мишљења и доприноса самовредновања развоју критичког мишљења, мотивације и сл. Молила бих Вас, ако имате још оваквих текстова, да ми пошаљете на мој мејл. Унапред хвала, Грозданка Гојков

Gojkov, Grozdanka

Поштована колегинице, ово је врло значајан текст. Ја се и сама бавим високошколском дидактиком и докимологијом, те ми је ово врло блиско, а и интересантно. Тренутно радим други део једног приручника ВИСОКОШКОЛСКА ДИДАКТИКА

Саносян Хачатур

Уважаемая Ирина. Обоснование тестов и механизм процесса тестирования является одной из разработанных разделов науки. Вы полнистью релизовали накопленный опыты. Но думается, что тесты должны являться вспомогательным инструментом при оценивании студентов. Приоритетным должно быть живоее общение. С уважением , Х.А. Саносян

Prashko Helen

Добрый день. Такой вид оценивания знаний, на наш взгляд, очень эффективынй. Это и есть компетентностный подход к образованию. Возможность диалога, рефлексии в учебном процессе - путь к надежному усвоению знаний. И речь в Вашей статье идет не столько об оценивании, сколько о возможностях качественного образования, которое можно получить только в процессе активного усвоения знаний. Спасибо. С уважением, Прашко Елена Владимировна.

Stepanova Anastasia

Я считаю, что виды контроля можно расширить

Искак Наби

Уважаемая автор! Вы правы в том. что для объективной оценки нужно довести до сведения студентов критерии оценки. Единственное. что не согласен с Вами, так это в том, что весь контроль сводится к тестам.
Партнеры
 
 
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