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Computer based learning in first year human biology: Students' use, evaluation and the value of practice quizzes and graded tests

Frank Gemmiti
School of Anatomy and Human Biology, The University of Western Australia
This paper reports the major findings of an investigation into a computer based learning system for students of Human Biology 100, a year long, first year unit at the University of Western Australia. The system was composed of practice quizzes and graded tests. Graded tests were randomly selected from the same bank of items as respective practice quizzes. The investigation was undertaken to assess (1) students' use and evaluation of the system and (2) the learning value of the system. A questionnaire was administered to students in semester two for information about use and evaluation of the system in semester one. Semester one grades were used to assess learning.

Most students attempted available practice quizzes (81% of 379 respondents) and graded tests (68.3% of 508 enrollees). Almost all respondents recommended the system to future students of the unit (94.5% of 380). General ability (as reflected in overall performance on other elements of assessment for the semester) varied with number of graded tests attempted, average performance on graded tests and total time spent on practice quizzes. Independently of general ability, average performance on graded tests varied with total time spent on practice quizzes, number of practice quizzes after which revision was done and number of graded tests attempted. Performance on each graded test varied with time spent on the respective practice quiz. Findings will be discussed with reference to previous related studies.

Please cite as: Gemmiti, F. (2003). Computer based learning in first year human biology: Students' use, evaluation and the value of practice quizzes and graded tests. In Partners in Learning. Proceedings of the 12th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 11-12 February 2003. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/gemmiti-abs.html


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Last revision: 14 Jan 2003. This URL: http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/gemmiti-abs.html