November Research Brief Focuses on Bio Gatekeeper Course

The November 2010 edition of Research and Practice examines the correlation between pre-course exam scores and students’ success in Human Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO 131). Click on the above link or image to view/download the research brief.

Biology faculty identified Human Anatomy & Physiology I (BIO 131) as a gatekeeper course because of its high enrollment and relatively low student success rate. Students are able to enroll in BIO 131 if they completed high school biology in past five years or if they successfully completed General Biology I (BIO 121). Student success rates in BIO 131 are especially low (38%) among students who satisfied the Biology pre-requisite with only high school biology.

Biology faculty created and piloted a placement exam to assess students’ basic knowledge and skills over two semesters. Results from the pilot show that students who successfully completed BIO 131 scored significantly higher on their placement exam on the first day of class.

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