Use of online self-marking coursework tool improves overall performance of first year biochemistry module results

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


The First year module: Introduction to Biochemistry and Bioanalytical Techniques (BY152) is studied by Biomedical Scientists and Biological Science students to provide fundamental concepts they require for their respective degrees. Historically this module has had a poor pass rate, with 47.4% passing on first sitting in 2017-18 cohort. Introduction of new teaching and assessment methods dramatically increased the proportion passing on first sitting from 2017-18 to 83.4 % the following cohort in 2018-19, and 91.5% 2019-20. The study methods introduced included a preliminary test held in the first couple of weeks of their first semester, which identified areas of study that required further reading. Other interventions included support seminars and Nearpod sessions for testing knowledge. In 2019-20, a new online assessment was introduced using ‘Learning Sciences Resources’ based on enzyme kinetics. Here the students attended their laboratory as in previous years, and instead of completing a standard proforma where the students performed a series of complex calculations based on their own individual data. The new eLearning tool, provided by Learning Science, the cohort were assessed using a smart self-marking worksheet. As students’ progress through the questions and calculations, the interactive activity enabled the students to learn from their initial mistakes, gain feedback and improve on subsequent questions. Each individual student was therefore enabled to learn and improve as the assessment continued. A significant improvement in overall mark for the cohort is demonstrated; the average mark 60.8 % 2017-18; 62.5% 2018-19 improved to 79.9% in 2019-20, which further contributed to the increased pass mark exhibited on the module; average overall exam mark 2017-18 was 44.7 %, 2018-19, 51.6 % to 56.6% in2019-20. While similar responsive learning has been previously published on learning of biochemical pathway (Roesler and Dreaver-Charles, 2018), this is the first report showing Learning Science use of smart worksheets to improve learning of enzyme kinetics. Improvement in overall pass rates and passing the module on first sitting can be attributed to step wise changes introduced to the biochemistry module including self-marking SMART worksheets that improved the usage of feedback and learning experience for students.

Roesler, W.J., Dreaver-Charles, K. Responsive eLearning exercises to enhance student interaction with metabolic pathways. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education; 2018; vol 46, Iss3, p223-229
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2020
EventEducation and Student Experience Conference 2020 - Virtual Conference, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Jul 2020 → …


ConferenceEducation and Student Experience Conference 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period10/07/20 → …


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