Universiteit Leiden

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LTA lunch lecture - Formative assessment to stimulate student involvement

Tuesday 18 April 2023
This lunch lecture will be in English.
Restaurant Faculty Club
Rapenburg 73

Dr. Ludo Juurlink, Chemistry:

'In this lunch lecture, I will share my experiences with implementing formative progress assessment and share the outcome of the study on learning effects of this project.

In formative assessment, students perform assignments primarily aimed to provide them with feedback on their knowledge and abilities without it affecting their course grade. While results may cause discouragement for some, the low stakes involved may intuitively be expected to have beneficial effects on studying behavior for most students. With this in mind, I have attempted to develop a low-cost formative progress assessment for the natural sciences and applied it to a chemistry curriculum.

We opted for progress testing as it not only provides feedback to students, but can also shed light on aspects of the curriculum that are useful to the program board. With help of various colleagues, groups of questions within various subdisciplines of chemistry were designed. With two different digital testing platforms these were tested on small groups of students. Although initial testing and feedback from students yielded ideas of how to implement formative digital progress testing to engage students, practical issues ultimately caused a termination of further development of this approach.

In the same line of approaches to engage students more with their academic program, we subsequently implemented a mobile device-based app that uses continuous formative testing throughout study periods. It relies on the testing effect and spaced repetition to optimize learning efficiency. While it was implemented in multiple curricula across the university and both students and teachers are unequivocally enthusiastic about its implementation, quantitative research on learning effects was mostly performed within the chemistry domain. Although the study has limitations, we find strong clues that regular engagement though formative testing with learning content via the app increased long term retention.'

This Lunch Lecture is initiated by the Leiden Teachers' Academy (LTA) and aims for teaching staff who want to improve their teaching. A vegetarian lunch is available. Registration (until 13 April 2023) is needed for catering purposes only.

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