Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The focus group plan

OK, I've consulted with the local experts.  They had excellent advice on how to proceed, and will be able to run the focus group for us if we decide it's what we need.

The first step is to analyze the responses from my student survey.  The survey questions are pasted below - for the purpose of the focus group the most important question was the one asking for topics for a focus group.  Once I've consolidated the responses I'll send them to the local experts and we can decide whether  issues were raised that should be considered by a focus group.  For a one-hour group we only want two or three such issues, and maybe one in reserve.

An ideal focus group would be about 6 students, and as few as three would be OK, so I think we can safely schedule it in May rather than before the final exam.  (And we do have money for pizza in the course budget.)

Survey Questions:
Agree/disagree (~Likert scale):

  1. I had the necessary background for the course.
  2. The readings and reading quizzes prepared me for the lectures.
  3. The iClicker questions were not challenging enough.
  4. The Genetics in the News slides took too much time away from course material.
  5. The homework increased my comprehension of the lecture material.
  6. The tutorials helped me learn to solve genetics problems.
  7. Having two mini-midterms and a midterm was too much testing.
  8. The course grade was based on too many different components.
  9. The workload was much higher than for other courses.
  10. I feel prepared to deal with genetics issues that may arise in my life.

 Written Answer Questions:

  1. Should any topics be cut from the course material?
  2. Were any topics missing from the course that you wish had been covered?
  3. A pizza-lunch focus group will be held later this month; all students are welcome to attend. Please mention below any specific issues that should be raised then.

 Ranking the course components:
Many components of this course contribute to the final grade. Please try to rank them according to how valuable you found them, taking into account your learning gains and the amount of time you invested in them. For example, an activity that took a lot of your time but resulted in little learning would score low.

  • Tutorials
  • Peerwise questions
  • SNP report
  • Calibrated Peer Review
  • Online homework
  • Reading quizzes
  • Studying for midterms
  • Attending lectures

1 comment:

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