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“Assessment for Learning and Critical Thinking: A Scientific Approach to Improving Learning”-Part of the CESE Summer Faculty Institute

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Presented by Jason Carlson, Instructor of Biology, St. Cloud Technical and Community College

Event Date:

24 May 2013 from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM



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Presenter Bio: Jason Carlson, St. Cloud Technical and Community College

I instruct general biology, microbiology, human biology, and nutrition at St. Cloud Technical and Community College in central Minnesota.  I earned bachelors in biology and science education at Bemidji State University in northern Minnesota from amazing professors.  Following my undergrad I participated in early childhood family education with AmeriCorps and tutored low-income students through a program called Upward Bound.   I eventually spent several years teaching life, earth, and physical sciences to grades 7-12 and coaching track and field before I continued my education at St. Cloud State University.  My most memorable experiences were teaching in an alternative program to kids under the age of 16 with many struggles in their lives.  At St. Cloud Technical and Community College, I am fortunate to have classes with students who are open to me trying different techniques.

Bloom's Taxonomy can be used for more than finding fancy-sounding verbs to insert into your course objectives.  It is a useful tool for course design, promoting critical thinking, and assessing and providing evidence of learning.   In this session, I'll reflect on my past courses and show how that process led to using Bloom's Objectives in a more scientific and methodical approach to my course design and assessment.   Please bring copies of an exam from one of your courses.  In the workshop session, you can tag the questions according to the Bloom's Taxonomy levels and determine what kind of learning your students are demonstrating when they answer the questions.  If you are interested in the approach, I will provide resources to help implement it in your own course.


Additional Resources from this Presentation:

  • Click here to view the presentation from this workshop
  • Article #1: "Putting the Horse Back in Front of the Cart: Using Visions and Decisions about High-Quality Learning Experiences to Drive Course Design"
  • Article #2: "Approaches to Cell Biology Teaching: Questions about Questions"
  • Article #3: "Innovations in Teaching Undergraduate Biology and Why We Need Them"
  • Links for Writing Higher-Order Multiple Choice Questions:

                 "Writing Multiple-Choice Questions for Higher-level Thinking"

                 "Writing Multiple Choice Items to Assess Higher-order Thinking"