Improving student learning and retention in both on- and off-campus learning environments through quiz delivery

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Testroet, Eric
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Graduate College

The Graduate College is responsible for more than 140 distinct programs across the entire spectrum of the university’s schools and colleges, including interdisciplinary and certificate programs, as well as for coordinating academic programming between the university’s undergraduate and graduate divisions.

The Graduate College was founded in 1916 to support graduate study in the university's land-grant areas of agriculture, engineering, home economics and veterinary science.

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Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning
The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL)’s mission is to enhance excellence in undergraduate education through the development of a national faculty committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse learners as part of successful and varied professional careers. It was established with the intent of preparing future science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) faculty across the nation, to ultimately improve the STEM learning of all students, at every college and university, and thereby to increase the diversity in STEM fields and the STEM literacy of the nation. The three CIRTL core ideas are Evidence-based Teaching, Learning Communities, and Learning-through-Diversity.
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In a study published in 2009 in the Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education by Addison et. al., student response devices (clickers) were used in an introductory biochemistry course to deliver in-class subject matter questions to which students responded anonymously. The results of the student answers were then shown to the class and feedback was given. The investigators of this study used the clickers approximately 4 to 5 times per 50 minute class period. The results indicated that, while there were no significant differences in mean scores between sections of the class using clickers and sections of the class not using clickers, the number of students in the highest performance category (91-100%) increased significantly when the clickers were used when compared to sections of the class that did not use clickers. We would like expand upon this prior research by investigating whether weekly recall quizzes, given in class with clickers, or proctored for off campus students, combined with feedback improves learning and retention in a graduate-level biochemistry course.

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