Introductory Biology Part 1 is a non-majors biology course with lab. There are three different sections, totalling 80 students. Sections are taught either online with an on-campus lab or taught traditionally on campus. It is a four-credit course.
Scores are comprised of:
- Exams and Assignments 40%
- Labs 30%
- Project 10%
- Final Assessment 20%
MasteringBiology counts 5–10% towards of the Assignment grade. Every three weeks, students are given a MasteringBiology practice test to help them prepare for an exam. The MasteringBiology assignments are in multiple-choice test format. There are about 50–75 items on each practice exam, designed to take about 60 minutes. The items are not duplicated on the actual exam, but they are similar.
Although it is too early in the term to report on quantitative results, I have seen improvements in individual students. Students are also using MasteringBiology effectively. In the beginning, they were fumbling around in the system. But before the last two exams, the students asked me to open up the practice exam. They see value in practice.
MasteringBiology is extremely useful to students. It is convenient for instructors. In particular, the large selection of assignable items and automatic grading are helpful.