To prepare for class students have access to prequizzes I have created on a paid site called MasteringBiology.com(Fig.1).
The activity asks students to complete a number of animations, and tutorials as well as questions which include creating graphic organizers, concept maps, labelling and multiple choice, and short answer questions. Many of the questions contain videos, interactive simulations and tutorials on the topic at hand, in this case, photosynthesis. Once students have signed in, the opening screen(Fig 2.) show students past and future assignments. It also shows due dates.
Students select the assignment we will be working on next class and the “Start of Assignment page” (Fig 3.) clearly identifies grading policies as well as the time limit for the
assignment. This time limit has been chosen by students and myself at the beginning of the year and is held constant for all assignments throughout the year. Students are reminded that once the assignment has begun, timing will not stop.
Students work through questions like this multiple choice seen in Figure 5 to review and find areas of weakness. The feedback they receive is immediate as you can see in
Figure 6. If students get a question wrong they can review that concept by clicking Review Part. They can also compare their answer to worldwide results on that question which may or may not be motivating!
The night before class or the morning of the class I will go online to MasteringBiology.com and look at my class results on the prequiz. There are a number of data screens that I can look through to see areas of weakness that I need to address. In Figure 7. the “Summary View” provides data on the individual questions. I can see how many students got each question correct and the class average for how long it took students to complete each question.
Please click on the following link to see what some Mastering Biology questions and simulations are like…