Monash Peer Assisted Learning Projects

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Monash Peer Assisted Learning Projects. Using peer-assisted learning (PAL) to enhance student understanding of the threshold concept of ‘evolution’. Gerry Rayner School of Biological Sciences. Background. Monash University Teaching and Learning Fellowships First awarded 2010 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Monash Peer Assisted Learning Projects

Slide 1Using peer-assisted learning (PAL) to enhance student understanding of the threshold concept of ‘evolution’.
Gerry Rayner
First awarded 2010
Open to any Monash staff member
Up to $30K budget
PVC Prof. Marnie Hughes-Warrington
e.g. While scientific consensus supporting modern evolutionary synthesis is nearly absolute…..
www.monash.edu.au
www.monash.edu.au
2009 Nielsen poll
25% of Australians believe "the biblical account of human origins" over Darwinian evolution.
Only 42% believe in a wholly scientific explanation for the origins of life
32% believe in an evolutionary process guided by ‘God’ – bet hedging?
www.monash.edu.au
PAL – foundations and context
PAL consistently shown to promote generic skills (e.g. McMaster et al. 2006) and enhance deeper learning…
…across a range of disciplines (Springer et al. 1999; Kieran and O’Neill 2009).
Aligns with Vygotsky’s ‘Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)’ - more capable peers collaborate on concepts, knowledge, skills enhance understanding of broader group and refine their own!
www.monash.edu.au
Project aims
Integrate ‘evolution’ readings with lectures & practicals scaffold PAL to refine, enhance student understanding
Evaluate student perceptions of effectiveness and value of PAL in this context
“Provides a conceptual framework that unifies every disparate aspect of the life sciences into a single coherent discipline”(NatAcadSci 2008)
www.monash.edu.au
PAL context
Focus on lectures and practicals (6 weeks) associated with aspects of evolution:
Plant diversity and evolution
Animal diversity and evolution
Ecology and evolutionary biology
Evolution – history and mechanisms
Plant diversity / evolution
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12
1. Paired PAL - plant evolution (Wk 9)
With your lab partner, discuss the following questions about plant evolution and diversity
Briefly summarize your present understanding of evolution.
Present four major steps in the evolution of land plants, from ‘bryophytes’ through to ‘angiosperms’.
What aspects of plant evolution do you find puzzling or problematic?
What questions about plant evolution remain unanswered?
What are the three most important things about plant evolution that you would tell someone?
www.monash.edu.au
Plant diversity / evolution
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12
1. Paired PAL
2. Quad PAL
3. Survey – value of PAL, comparative value of paired vs. quad PAL.
www.monash.edu.au
2. Quad PAL task - animal evolution (Wk 10)
Form a quad group and discuss the following questions about animal evolution and diversity
How would you describe evolution?
Provide a brief explanation of animal evolution.
Are there aspects of animal evolution that you find puzzling or problematic?
What are the three most important things about plant evolution that you would tell someone?
metacognition
www.monash.edu.au
To what extent do you agree with the following statements?
1. Discussions with my lab partner(s) improved my understanding of plant (animal) evolution
Quad group discussions were more beneficial to my understanding of evolution than with my lab partner.
www.monash.edu.au
Discussions in a pair / quad improved my understanding of:
www.monash.edu.au
Week 9
Week 10
‘Natural selection’ ‘Mutation’ ‘Increasing complexity’ ‘Common ancestor’ ‘Random processes’ ‘Population biology’ ‘Convergence’ ‘Divergence’ ‘Bottlenecks’
www.monash.edu.au
Mean = 4.05
Plant diversity / evolution
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12
1. Paired PAL
2. Quad PAL
3. Survey – value of PAL, comparative value of paired vs. quad PAL.
4. Quad PAL on a specific ‘evolution’ question.
5. Development and submission of digital response.
6. Assessment - tutors & peers.
Group discussion, concept-mapping etc. of an ‘evolution-related’ question.
Evolution / radiation of terrestrial plants
Adaptations / evolution of terrestrial insects
Evolutionary significance of mesoderm in multicellular animals
Evolutionary implications of endoskeletons vs exoskeletons
Allopatric speciation - processes and mechanisms
www.monash.edu.au
5. Quad PAL project (Wk 12)
Quad used prior knowledge, discussion and online resources (+ rubric), to develop a digital response (i.e. a 1 slide ppt).
Quad uploaded their digital response as an attachment to a Blackboard Discussion posting
- marked by tutor (grading form)
- ‘rated’ by other students
Criterion
(1 point) Several required elements were missing.
(2 points) All but 1 of the required elements are included on the poster.
(3 points) All required elements are included on the poster.
(4 points) The poster includes all required elements as well as additional information.
Labels
(1 point) Labels are too small to view OR no important items were labelled.
(2 points) Many items of importance on the poster are clearly labelled with labels that are a suitable size
(3 points) Almost all items of importance on the poster are clearly labelled with labels that are a suitable size.
(4 points) All items of importance on the poster are clearly labelled with labels that are a suitable size
Graphics - relevance
(1 point) Graphics do not relate to the topic OR several borrowed graphics do not have a source note.
(2 points) All graphics relate to the topic. One or two borrowed graphics have a sources noted.
(3 points) All graphics are related to the topic and most make it easier to understand. Some graphics have a note about their source.
(4 points) All graphics are related to the topic and make it easier to understand. All borrowed graphics have a note about their source.
Aesthetics / attractiveness
(1 point) The poster is distractingly messy or very poorly designed. It is not attractive.
(2 points) The poster is acceptably attractive though it may be a bit messy.
(3 points) The poster is reasonably attractive in at least 2 of design, layout, or neatness.
(4 points) The poster is exceptionally attractive in terms of design, layout, and neatness
Grammar
(1 point) There are more than 4 grammatical or spelling mistakes on the poster.
*
www.monash.edu.au
Species wide - shows divide
“In Allopatric speciation, gene flow is interrupted when a population is divided into geographically isolated sub populations.”
Post ice-age recolonisation
of Chorthippus parallelus
Divergence established via DNA tests and measuring the follicle length
Allopatry in 3 steps:
Daughter population must form i.e. must be separated in some degree
Daughter population must exist in this separated state in order to become a discrete new species
*
References:
Hewitt, G, The genetic legacy of the Quaternary ice ages,Nature, June 2000, vol.405, 907-913
*
ALLOPATRIC SPECIATION
Allopatric speciation occurs when the gene flow of a population is interrupted due to geographic isolation, resulting in the formation of a new species.
Allopatric speciation is known to have occurred in Cercopithecinae Monkeys (subfamily of Old World Monkeys) in Africa.
Contraction and expansion of African rainforest was the main driving force for the Allopatric speciation
The Congo and Sanaga Rivers also played a role in the geographical isolation and speciation of these monkeys.
Guenons Monkey
*
Kamilar, J. M, et al. (2009) "Combining Biogeographic and Phylogenetic Data to Examine Primate Speciation: An Example Using Cercopithecin Monkeys" Biotropica. vol 41, 4, pp 514-519.
Cambell, et al (2009) Biology 8th ed. Australian Version. Pearson Education. pp. 494-496.
7. Post-PAL Survey (Week 12 )
To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?
Content- & skills- development questions
This group poster project enhanced my understanding of the processes and mechanisms of “relevant evolution question”
This poster project helped me develop skills that I would not have learned from lectures and practicals only
I developed more interest in the poster project than I expected
www.monash.edu.au
Team dynamics & assessment-related questions
Working in a group was an effective learning experience
This poster project helped me to interact more effectively with group members
I am happy for our group presentation to be rated by other students
The workload was appropriate for this group project.
The assessment requirements for the group project were clear.
We had access to the sufficient resources to complete the project.
What improvements would you suggest?
www.monash.edu.au
Median = 4.0
Response
strongly agree
7.41
3.70
0.00
2.94
5.00
6.06
3.57
8.82
5.26
4.75
0.8661619952
mean
3.48
3.87
3.46
3.58
3.55
3.72
3.71
3.84
3.25
3.61
0.066190818
median
4.00
4.00
4
4.00
4.00
4.00
4.00
4.00
4.00
4.00
0
Response
This poster project helped me develop skills that I would not have learned from lectures and practicals only
strongly agree
Response
Response frequency (%)
This poster project helped me develop skills that I would not have learned from lectures and practicals only
means and %s
evolution of terrestrial plants
comparative advantages and disadvantages of exoskeletons and endoskeletons
processes and mechanisms of allopatric speciation
strongly agree
comparative advantages and disadvantages of exoskeletons and endoskeletons
processes and mechanisms of allopatric speciation
Response
all raw data
Plants MPM
This group poster project enhanced my understanding of the evolution of terrestrial plants
I developed more interest in the poster project than I expected.
I am happy for our group presentation to be rated by other students
Working in a group was an effective learning experience
This poster project helped me to interact more effectively with group members
The workload is appropriate for a group poster project worth 3.5%.
Assessment requirements (the grading form rubric) for the group project were clear.
I had access to the sufficient resources to complete the project.
This poster project helped me develop skills that I would not have learned from lectures and practicals only
What improvements would you suggest? (Paragraph)
strongly agree
Plants - WAM
This group poster project enhanced my understanding of the evolution of terrestrial plants
I developed more interest in the poster project than I expected.
I am happy for our group presentation to be rated by other students
Working in a group was an effective learning experience
This poster project helped me to interact more effectively with group members
The workload is appropriate for a group poster project worth 3.5%.
Assessment requirements (the grading form rubric) for the group project were clear.
I had access to the sufficient resources to complete the project.
This poster project helped me develop skills that I would not have learned from lectures and practicals only
What improvements would you suggest? (Paragraph)
strongly agree
This group poster project enhanced my understanding insect adaptations to terrrestrial habitats
I developed more interest in the poster project than I expected.
I am happy for our group presentation to be rated by other students
Working in a group was an effective learning experience
This poster project helped me to interact more effectively with group members
The workload is appropriate for a group poster project worth 3.5%.
Assessment requirements (the grading form rubric) for the group project were clear.
I had access to the sufficient resources to complete the project.
This poster project helped me develop skills that I would not have learned from lectures and practicals only
What improvements would you suggest? (Paragraph)
strongly agree
This group poster project enhanced my understanding insect adaptations to terrrestrial habitats
I developed more interest in the poster project than I expected.
I am happy for our group presentation to be rated by other students
Working in a group was an effective learning experience
This poster project helped me to interact more effectively with group members
The workload is appropriate for a group poster project worth 3.5%.
Assessment requirements (the grading form rubric) for the group project were clear.
I had access to the sufficient resources to complete the project.
This poster project helped me develop skills that I would not have learned from lectures and practicals only
What improvements would you suggest? (Paragraph)
strongly agree
Mesoderm - TPM
This group poster project enhanced my understanding of the importance of mesoderm in the evolution of multicellular animals
I developed more interest in the poster project than I expected.
I am happy for our group presentation to be rated by other students
Working in a group was an effective learning experience
This poster project helped me to interact more effectively with group members
The workload is appropriate for a group poster project worth 3.5%.
Assessment requirements (the grading form rubric) for the group project were clear.
I had access to the sufficient resources to complete the project.
This poster project helped me develop skills that I would not have learned from lectures and practicals only
What improvements would you suggest? (Paragraph)
strongly agree
This group poster project enhanced my understanding of the comparative advantages and disadvantages of exoskeletons and endoskeletons
I developed more interest in the poster project than I expected.
I am happy for our group presentation to be rated by other students
Working in a group was an effective learning experience
This poster project helped me to interact more effectively with group members
The workload is appropriate for a group poster project worth 3.5%.
Assessment requirements (the grading form rubric) for the group project were clear.
I had access to the sufficient resources to complete the project.
This poster project helped me develop skills that I would not have learned from lectures and practicals only
What improvements would you suggest? (Paragraph)
strongly agree
This group poster project enhanced my understanding of the comparative advantages and disadvantages of exoskeletons and endoskeletons
I developed more interest in the poster project than I expected.
I am happy for our group presentation to be rated by other students
Working in a group was an effective learning experience
This poster project helped me to interact more effectively with group members
The workload is appropriate for a group poster project worth 3.5%.
Assessment requirements (the grading form rubric) for the group project were clear.
I had access to the sufficient resources to complete the project.
This poster project helped me develop skills that I would not have learned from lectures and practicals only
What improvements would you suggest? (Paragraph)
strongly agree
Allopatric speciation - FAM
This group poster project enhanced my understanding of the processes and mechanisms of allopatric speciation
I developed more interest in the poster project than I expected.
I am happy for our group presentation to be rated by other students
Working in a group was an effective learning experience
This poster project helped me to interact more effectively with group members
The workload is appropriate for a group poster project worth 3.5%.
Assessment requirements (the grading form rubric) for the group project were clear.
I had access to the sufficient resources to complete the project.
This poster project helped me develop skills that I would not have learned from lectures and practicals only
What improvements would you suggest? (Paragraph)
strongly agree
Allopatric speciation - FPM
This group poster project enhanced my understanding of the processes and mechanisms of allopatric speciation
I developed more interest in the poster project than I expected.
I am happy for our group presentation to be rated by other students
Working in a group was an effective learning experience
This poster project helped me to interact more effectively with group members
The workload is appropriate for a group poster project worth 3.5%.
Assessment requirements (the grading form rubric) for the group project were clear.
I had access to the sufficient resources to complete the project.
This poster project helped me develop skills that I would not have learned from lectures and practicals only
What improvements would you suggest? (Paragraph)
strongly agree
Plants MPM
This group poster project enhanced my understanding of the evolution of terrestrial plants
I developed more interest in the poster project than I expected.
I am happy for our group presentation to be rated by other students
Working in a group was an effective learning experience
This poster project helped me to interact more effectively with group members
The workload is appropriate for a group poster project worth 3.5%.
Assessment requirements (the grading form rubric) for the group project were clear.
I had access to the sufficient resources to complete the project.
This poster project helped me develop skills that I would not have learned from lectures and practicals only
What improvements would you suggest? (Paragraph)
5
4
1
4
4
4
4
4
a quiz would be much more effective to help in learning about plant evolution
3
3
3
3
3
4
5
3
It was very interactive and a good change from the sometimes stressful normal practicals, so I don't think there needs to be any improvement
4
3
3
3
4
2
1
3
3
3
3
4
2
1
1
3
1
1
1
4
1
Give us more than an A4 size for the poster. We could put hardly any information on the poster, and had to simplify everything a lot. Although it's supposed to be a poster for anybody to be able to read, it felt like the topic was too broad to summari
5
4
5
4
4
4
5
4
Run more sessions, i found it quite educational. i would have gone to all three if i knew they were going to be different.
4
4
5
2
2
2
2
1
Have the tutors explain more about the theory in order for us to set our the poster for clearly, have the poster actually made on a hard copy - a large A3 or bigger sheet, and present it to the lab class. Doing it online restricted the information that wa
4
3
5
4
5
2
4
2
maybe a more detailed explanation/criteria of what needs to be included in the poster. Overall a fun and interactive experience.<br/>Thanks :)
3
2
3
2
3
4
4
3
maybe working in just pairs or smaller groups. felt like some people were doing all the work on the computer and others were doing none.
5
5
5
4
4
3.5
2.5
1
Given 3.5 hours to do the poster was far too much time, it only took our group 30min...I would suggest allowing for possibly a 3 slide powerpoint
mean
3.3333333333
2.8518518519
3.5185185185
3.4814814815
3.4814814815
2.8888888889
3.8333333333
2.7777777778
median
4
3
4
4
3
3
4
3
11.1111111111
22.2222222222
3.7037037037
7.4074074074
3.7037037037
11.1111111111
0
11.1111111111
100
100
100
100
100
77% of students considered the workload to be about right for this tutorial
Plants - WAM
This group poster project enhanced my understanding of the evolution of terrestrial plants
I developed more interest in the poster project than I expected.
I am happy for our group presentation to be rated by other students
Working in a group was an effective learning experience
This poster project helped me to interact more effectively with group members
The workload is appropriate for a group poster project worth 3.5%.
Assessment requirements (the grading form rubric) for the group project were clear.
I had access to the sufficient resources to complete the project.
This poster project helped me develop skills that I would not have learned from lectures and practicals only
What improvements would you suggest? (Paragraph)
2.5
3.5
5
5
4
4
5
2
perhaps allow more than one slide. there was a lot of information that we wanted to include, but couldn&#39;t due to space and presentation factors.
4
5
5
4
1.5
1
5
4
maybe include the last tutorial in the prac manual and outline some things that need to be done before the actual tutorial and include marking rubric as well. <br/><br/>would have liked it more if we had to produce one for animals as well.
4
4
5
5
5
5
4
4
4
3
2
3.5
4
Perhaps let students know that the textbook may be useful if they want to bring that along as a resource.
4
3
3
4
4
4
4
2
no real improvements needed, fairly basic in understanding and set task.perhaps setting a poster project during the first weeks of the sem. would aid in group interaction, purely for a social benefit
2
2
3
2
2
3
4
1
not doing the poster tute at all instead find a way in which students actually get to get a decent overview of all the main types of evolution that…

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