RT Journal Article
SR Electronic
T1 Four assessment methods to measure student gains in a graduate course on mathematical modeling in cell biology
JF bioRxiv
FD Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
SP 346890
DO 10.1101/346890
A1 Dale, Renee
A1 Kato, Naohiro
A1 Wischusen, William
YR 2018
UL http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/06/16/346890.abstract
AB The push for mathematics and quantitative skill development in biology is greater than ever before. The perceptions of these techniques are a barrier to their implementation on a grand scale. Methods to assess the efficacy of approaches to teaching quantitative skills are needed to determine if they effectively overcome social stereotypes and fears of math. In our project we study the effect of a mathematical modeling course in cell biology. We developed four assessments to understand if hands-on modeling increases student understanding of the concepts while simultaneously reducing fear of math. Two concept inventories track students' learning gains both in general and specific knowledge to the course content. Two surveys quantify students' quantitative confidence and opinions of the usefulness of these techniques in biology. We discuss the effectiveness of our methods and the implications for assessment development in mathematical biology education.