Trial and Error is a recurring feature from “Inside Digital Learning” that examines the successes and struggles of technology initiatives on campuses and in classrooms.
John Redden, assistant professor in residence, and Kristen Kimball, lecturer, co-teach an anatomy and physiology course that regularly enrolls 750 students each semester. Until 2016, standard procedure was to break the class into two groups, one for each instructor. Naturally, the pair struggled to cultivate anything approaching productive, stimulating personal relationships with individual students.
Training as many as 50 former students for their roles as course assistant ended up feeling like “having two more classes almost every week,” Kimball said. “It was fun and interesting, but it was very hard to do.”
One of Redden’s ideas led to a new teaching approach he calls “collaborative testing.” Students first take their exams in the conventional way. Once they’ve been graded, they retake the exam with the opportunity to discuss the questions with their peers on the online platform.