Exam questions as useful tools to measure knowledge transfer and increase critical thinking
Posted by: admin | July 07, 2009 | 0 Comments
We previously mentioned that Dr. Baran will be presenting during the 2009 Laboratory Animal Welfare Training Exchange (LAWTE) Conference. During this conference he will be presenting several lectures. The second lecture entitled Exam questions as useful tools to measure knowledge transfer and increase critical thinking developed in collaboration with Dr. James Kehler and Dr. Elizabeth Johnson will be presented on Thursday (August 6th, 2009) during the afternoon Break Out Sessions. Please find an abstract of this presentation below. We are looking forward to seeing you there.
Prior to working with animals, personnel in the laboratory animal science (LAS) and biomedical fields are required to participate in various training courses. The knowledge transfer from these courses is measured through exams that are supposed to determine if the participant has learned the necessary skills and theories. Despite their importance, the questions included within the exams commonly receive the least attention during the course development process. Course designers often utilize ‘cut and paste’ multiple choice questions that are easy to develop and easy for participants to answer. However, correct answers on this type of exam do not adequately measure or promote long-term retention of course material. Ideally, questions should be employed that require students to demonstrate an in-depth understanding and use of the material and identify areas which students have yet to master. Case-based questions require more effort to develop and grade, but they have been shown to be beneficial by requiring students to engage in a higher level of critical thinking rather than rely on simple regurgitation. Consequently, LAS instructors should consider this approach to promote more active learning, when they develop exam questions. Another consideration is the degree to which test questions measure students' achievement of the course goals. Exams should focus on the most valuable content and skills taught in a course and must be valid, reliable, and balanced. This presentation will review different approaches to developing exam questions in academic, veterinary, and medical environments and focus on how to best apply these methodologies in LAS and biomedical training programs.