John G. Webster Department of Biomedical Engineering University of Wisconsin Madison WI 53706 USA email@example.com Prelecture quizzes using WebCT in a bioinstrumentation course
BSBME required core courses Bioinstrumentation Biomechanics Biomaterials Physiology for Engineers Modeling physiological systems
Bioinstrumentation prerequisites Math Physics Chemistry
Bioinstrumentation topics Measurement systems Signal processing Measurement of molecules in clinical chemistry Biomaterials and tissue engineering Hematology Cells in biomaterials and tissue engineering Nervous system Heart and circulation Lungs; kidney; bone; skin Body
Textbook on the web I create text chapters I modify them up to 1 week before the lecture I post them on the web at www.engr.wisc.edu/cgi/courses/list/bme/310/webster/ I e-mail students to download and print them I ask them to take a prelecture quiz
Prelecture quizzes On the web Open book Untimed Multiple choice Automatically graded Feedback of correct answer 10% of course grade Cannot take after lecture begins Promote learning prior to lecture
Question on sample size For the height of adults, the mean = 180 cm and the standard deviation = 10 cm. To obtain a probability 0.95 that our sample population average height does not differ from the mean by more than 5 cm, we must measure _____ adults. 0.0% 1. 2 0.0% 2. 4 0.0% 3. 8 100.0% 4. 16 0.0% 5. more than any of the above General Feedback: N = Z^2(sigma/delta)^2 = 1.96^2(10/5)^2 = 15.36 = 16 Score: 100%
Question on electric circuits In order to reduce the 10 V from a signal generator to 1 mV to test an ECG amplifier, we construct an attenuator with Rs = 100 kohm and Ri closest to _____. 0.0% 1. 100 kohm 0.0% 2. 10 kohm 0.0% 3. 1 kohm 0.0% 4. 100 ohm 100.0% 5. 10 ohm General Feedback: vo/vi = Ri/(Rs + Ri) = Ri/(100 kohm + Ri) = 0.001/10 = 0.0001. Ri = 10 ohm. Score: 100%
Benefits from quizzing 1 The quizzes encouraged me to do the reading. This was an educational benefit. 2 The web quizzes were useful because they ensured that I would read the material before class. 3 Using WebCT caused me to read more closely the text material before learning about it more completely in lecture. This is beneficial to learning not only by seeing the material twice, but having some time to think about it and try to understand it without help from the instructor. 4 It made me scan through the material. Usually I don't look at the material until after the lectures. 5 I think that I probably wouldn't have read the chapters as regularly. I think that the most beneficial aspect of WebCT quizzing is the fact that I could go back and use it as a study guide for exams.
Barriers to use 1 I experienced no barriers. 2 (1) my computer not working right (2) internet pages loading too slow 3 Not realizing what time a certain quiz became unavailable and so not being able to take it. 4 (1) There was a lot of quizzes, and it made for a lot of undesired busy work-- would rather have homework. (2) Some questions were worded awkwardly, and this took up more time than needed. (3) Nothing else. 5 None
Need for support 1 No training was needed, it was easy. 2 Read questions very carefully 3 I thought the quizzing was fairly straightforward, as long as answers do not try to trick you into choosing the wrong answer. 4 None. Simple to use. 5 None.
Suggestions for improvement 1 Fewer quizzes. Maybe 1 per week. 2 Already stated. 3 Post all of the emails that are sent to Prof. Webster on the message board. Any emails with questions, and the answers from the instructor regarding course material should be archived or something on the WebCT web site so that easy navigation for studying difficult points is available. 4 Three quizzes per week is too much because we also had 2 homeworks and a lab report. 5 Collaboration between students in the class on the quizzes should be allowed. Engineers often work in teams to solve problems; this is a similar situation.
Other web uses 1 Homework should be on the web. 2 The web quizzes are enough. If I didn't have my own computer, I would be very irritated if too much of the course work involved the internet. 3 Well, the "find an article" or "find a website" assignments were kinda fun. Some professors provide websites that correlate to the lecture that give extra information. There is a lot of great stuff on the web. 4 Possibly links to sites that have visual demonstrations of how the devices we study are used. The more visual, the better, whether it includes pictures, short demonstrations or in depth diagrams. 5 Non-multiple choice questions.
How did I like WebCT? It took me about 8 hours to learn to use WebCT http://www.webct.com/ It took me about 2 hours per week to create the questions All grading was automatic, including end-of semester computations I covered easier material in WebCT and more difficult material in lectures I graded less homework Students learned more Future semesters require no additional work I like it and will expand it to all my courses