Multimedia in bioethics education: examples of authentic assessment


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These are slides from an invited presentation I gave at a Higher Education Academy Arts and Humanities network meeting, held at St Mary's University, Twickenham in February 2014. The talk used two examples of work on bioethics we conduct with students at the University of Leicester, to illustrate some of the key principles of Authentic Assessment.

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Multimedia in bioethics education: examples of authentic assessment

  1. 1. Assessment: Group effort or Individual achievement Multimedia in Bioethics Education: Examples of Authentic Assessment Dr Chris Willmott Dept of Biochemistry, University of Leicester University of Leicester
  2. 2. Overview • Context: geographical and disciplinary • Multimedia in teaching • Two assessed activities • Some advice on running similar tasks (including assessment of individual contribution to team) • Authentic Assessment/Students as Producers • Examples of student films
  3. 3. Context: Leicester • University of Leicester School of Biological Sciences • Second Year Undergraduates - Medical Biochemistry (n=40) - Other Biologists (n= 180)
  4. 4. QAA Benchmarking for Bioscience “Students should expect to be confronted by some of the scientific, moral and ethical questions raised by their study discipline, to consider viewpoints other than their own, and to engage in critical assessment and intellectual argument” “Recognising the moral and ethical issues of investigations and appreciating the need for ethical standards and professional codes of conduct”
  5. 5. QAA Benchmarking for Bioscience All students should: “Have some understanding of ethical issues and the impact on society of advances in the biosciences” Good students should: “Be able to construct reasoned arguments to support their position on the ethical and social impact of advances in the biosciences”
  6. 6. Multimedia in Bioethics Education • Multimedia (esp visual media) can be integrated into teaching about bioethics in variety of ways Use of broadcast clips Video production News analysis
  7. 7. News analysis • Research Skills module • Second year (second semester), n = 180 • Students write 1000 word commentaries on current news story that raises bioethical issues • Max 200 words summarising content, rest focussed on ethical arguments • Appropriately referenced
  8. 8. News analysis • Story must be from previous calendar year (i.e. Jan 2013 to Dec 2013 for 2014 cohort) • Story must be available as video clip on BBC website (max 5 mins, not clip from longer programme) • Best summaries made available as resources for wider community • Authentic Assessment
  9. 9. News analysis
  10. 10. Film production • Since 2008 • Require students to produce films • Work in teams of ~ 4 (set by me) • Make 3-5 min video on allocated topic • Best films are made available more broadly via YouTube (linked from Bioethicsbytes)
  11. 11. Film production • Concerns that “you cannot say anything meaningful in 5 minutes” not substantiated • Rare opportunity within biology curriculum for students to express creativity • Genuine team activity rather than just “group work” • Authentic Assessment
  12. 12. Teamwork ≠ Groupwork • Although “groupwork” and “teamwork” often used interchangeably there are differences in meaning Groupwork = Multi-person task, but might have been completed relatively easily by individual Teamwork = task would be hard or impossible for one person on their own
  13. 13. Topics covered Bioethics and Sport Forensic use of DNA 3-parent IVF Pharmacogenetics Neuroimaging Organ trading Genetic enhancement Transhumanism Use of animals in research Ethical issues in public health Xenotransplantation Egg donation Gene therapy Cognitive enhancement Use of human material
  14. 14. Student films: Genre Interviews 24hr News
  15. 15. Student films: Genre Role-play
  16. 16. Student films: Genre Animation
  17. 17. Student films: Genre Finger puppets VideoScribe
  18. 18. Student self-evaluation
  19. 19. Student evaluation of exercise Positive • “Video project allowed us to research areas and topics of science that were different, new, and exciting, and also challenged us to using new equipment and computer software” • “The video project was interesting way of presenting ideas on ethical issues and made sure preparation was not last minute as with essays” • “A positive, enjoyable experience – was something different than writing essays etc, and allowed us some creativity, something I miss doing the ‘sciency’ (sic) course that we do”
  20. 20. Student evaluation of exercise Positive • “Enjoyable doing video project as it was quite a novel, creative form of assessment” • “The video project was a good learning experience” • “Video gave good and varied experience of working in teams” • “Video production was different and enjoyable” • “The bioethics video was interesting and has I feel helped me to obtain skills I did not have before as I had never had to make and edit a video” • “Video project was ace”
  21. 21. Student evaluation of exercise Mixed • “Whilst doing it I thought it was a bit of a pain to be honest! But by the end I was quite pleased with the result!” • “Fun to do and spend time on, however… the marks allocated for this project were disproportionate to the amount of time and effort we had put in.” Negative • “No more video assessment (we’re scientists not media students)”
  22. 22. If you wish to run this activity... • Digital video: - Excellent way to boost engagement - Develops transferable skills - Produces resource for wider community • Recommended equipment: - HD quality cameras recording to SD card - Tripods and external microphones • Decide if you will accept submissions made using GoAnimate or Videoscribe • Don’t use their own names in role-play • Award appropriate credit – this is not an easy task
  23. 23. Individual contribution to team • One of the issues with groupwork tasks (including genuine teamwork) = fair marks individuals • Appropriately reward those who put most into project • Reduce unwarranted marks for “free riders” • Various methods exist for deriving individual mark • We have used scheme of Conway et al (1993)
  24. 24. Weighting students’ contributions • Each student awards a mark of 1 to 5 to each member of their team (inc themselves) for a number of different criteria • Average mark (= A): Grand total (all scores for all students in team) Number of student in team • Individual student total (= B): Sum of all that student’s scores awarded by all team members (inc themselves) • Weighting for individual student: Individual total (B) Average mark (A)
  25. 25. Weighting students’ contributions • Criteria in video task: • Research on the ethics of the topic • Research on the science of the topic • Administration • Scriptwriting and planning • Camerawork and filming • Animation and other artwork • “on screen” role • Editing of the video
  26. 26. Potential problems • We have found this system to work well, but… • An individual making a large contribution to a high scoring project can theoretically score >100% • A student doing no work receives some credit
  27. 27. Authentic Assessment • Term generally attributed to Grant Wiggins in 1989 • “Assessment that poses …intellectually interesting and personally meaningful… questions, tasks or problems [that] have value and interest beyond the classroom” (Frey et al, 2012:p13) • “Assessment of learning… is conducted through ‘real world’ tasks requiring students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in meaningful contexts” (Swaffield, 2011:p434)
  28. 28. Authentic Assessment • Characteristics of authenticity include: • Real-world relevance • Meaningful • Challenging • Involve students in own research • Knowledge construction • Opportunity for “ownership” • Generates product or performance “Students as Producers” • Collaboration/Teamwork
  29. 29. Bioethicsbytes • • Set up in 2006 • A hub for sharing multimedia resources for teaching about bioethics • Variety of formats
  30. 30. Bioethicsbytes Suggested sections of films & TV programmes
  31. 31. Bioethicsbytes In depth reviews
  32. 32. Bioethicsbytes Recommendation of external resources
  33. 33. Bioethicsbytes Book Reviews
  34. 34. Bioethicsbytes Student-produced
  35. 35. Student films (1) Forensic Uses of DNA (2010,
  36. 36. Student films (2) Mitochondrial Diseases and 3-Parent IVF (2013,
  37. 37. Student films (3) Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing (2013,
  38. 38. Student films (4) Ethical Issues in Public Health (2011,
  39. 39. Any Questions? E-mail: Twitter: cjrw Slideshare: cjrw2 Delicious: chriswillmott Blogs: University of Leicester
  40. 40. References Conway R. et al (1993) Peer assessment of an individual’s contribution to a group project Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 18:45-56 Frey B.B. et al (2012) Defining authentic classroom assessment Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation 17 ISSN 1531-7714 Swaffield S. (2011) Getting to the heart of authentic Assessment for Learning Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice 18:433-449 Willmott C. (2013) Headline Bioethics: Engagement with bioethics in the news Bioscience Education 21:3-6 Willmott CJR (2014, in press) Teaching bioethics via the production of student-generated videos Journal of Biological Education