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Quizzing: New twist on an old tradition

October 17, 2013

Yesterday, in Biology 12, I tried something new.

The previous week, the class build a cell membrane on the wall of the classroom (2D)  This was meant to help students visualize the composition of the cell membrane.  The next concept was osmosis and diffusion.  To quiz this concept, I decided to branch out and let the students do the quiz in groups of 2 or 3.  I gave them 8 minutes (I don’t know why I chose the number) and told them they can use any materials in the class to illustrate the concept of diffusion and osmosis.  The only rules is they needed to use the cell membrane on the wall and they weren’t allowed to use words to DESCRIBE the process.  They were working so well I let them have more time so it took more like 15 minutes.

Overall, I was blown away with the level of engagement and teamwork.  The students went straight to their tasks, consulted with their classmates, and adequately showed their understanding of the concepts (or not).  In either case, I was able to circulate, touch base with students, and see what specific parts they were understanding or struggling with.

If you know your bio, you will notice some of the pictures illustrate the concepts of osmosis/ diffusion…and some do not.  But, they all showed the students’ understanding of the concepts.

photo 1

photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2014 4:18 am

    I like this! I want to do something like this with stoichiometry or redox equations.

  2. May 30, 2014 5:30 pm

    Frequent quizzing has been recently shown to improve long-term learning (see Rawson’s work at Kent State: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/which-study-strategies-make-the-grade.html ).

    I think this is a fabulous step in changing the very nature of quizzes to tackle multiple intelligences, place consciousness and group work. Love it. Keep innovating, Scott.

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