On Saturday, October 26th, the 2013 Association of Atlantic Universities Teaching Showcase was hosted at Mount Allison University. The theme of this year’s showcase was “Assessment: teaching, learning, and quality.”
One of the sub-themes was “Making assessment part of learning, not apart from it,” and it was under this sub-theme that Chris delivered a 25-minute seminar (regular session) entitled “Signal Transduction: a small-class model for fully integrating learning and assessment.” Also participating in the seminar were Neal Callaghan and Alex Whynot, two of Chris’ students from Signal Transduction, who were there to lend a student perspective to the presentation; Neal has also been Chris’ student in Immunochemistry, and both of the boys are currently Chris’ students in Toxicology.
The point of the seminar was to demonstrate the novel approach taken in Signal Transduction when taught in the Winter 2013 semester: the course was completely exam-free, instead utilizing three presentations and three papers of increasing complexity to assess student learning. Students received extensive real-time from Presentation #1 to Paper #1, from Paper #1 to Presentation #2, from Presentation #2 to Paper #2, and so on for the length of the course. As a result, according to some students, the material “stuck” better than it otherwise would have if the students were simply forced to memorize and regurgitate the material on timed exams.
The seminar was well-received by fellow showcase-attendees and generated numerous audience questions.