Survey of Laboratory Science Students' Views about the Advantages of Quizes during the Semester Including Microbiology Course

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Cellular & Molecular Research Center, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Pasdaran Avenue, Sanandaj, Iran

2 2. Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Pasdaran Avenue, Sanandaj, Iran

Abstract

Introduction
Traditional teacher-centered methods of teaching and learning are passive and affected by teacher's functions and horizons. Today, active teaching methods include teaching  students to be able to observe the situation for exploring and thinking deeper about the issue or problem . So the aim of this study is to survey students' views about the advantages of quizzes  in studying microbiology course.
Methods
This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in 2011 in Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences. Study population was all 24 students of the fifth semester of laboratory science. First, the students were taught about quizzes  and methods, and then they  were given a questionnaire containing 11 questions. These questions were classified in three domains: student motivation, class participation, and lower side activities. Students' responses were assessed according to the following scores: 1= strongly disagree to or less than 25%, 2= disagree, or between 26 and 50%, 3= agree, or between 51 and 75%, 4= strongly agree or more than 76 percent. Reliability and validity of the questionnaire were assessed with the help of experts and  Cronbach's alpha test.
Result
At learning increase domain 55.17%, increasing student motivation 62.07%, participating in class 34.4% and decreasing the side activities 10.34%, from the view point of the students, quizzes were effective in teaching microbiology course.
Conclusion
The results of this study show that quiz taking  is an effective way to increase student learning, so it is recommended that instructors increase the effectiveness of their teaching methods by applying them in their teaching schedule.

Keywords


Introduction

Evaluation is an important aspect in the process of educational activities and  students' evaluation of academic instruction is one of the most important elements of teaching and learning as well. Effective evaluation has a significant role not only in screening  students, but also increases the motivation of the students and helps teachers evaluate their job (1). Clinical discussion in medical education has the most important contribution in clinical practice. The real meaning of education in clinical practice is creating a platform of  scientific knowledge for students, along with the diagnosis, treatment, and acquisition of professional skills (2).

Teachers play an important role in training students and teaching skills are essential in this manner. Miller believes that, good teaching requires good planning, good personality, participation of the students and giving them the opportunity to declare, appropriate selection of media, efficient evaluation methods for evaluating the effectiveness of learning and teaching process (3). Today, many clinical trainers are searching the latest teaching methods in order to teach students the knowledge and clinical skills at the appropriate level. The best way to achieve this goal is using methods of learning in which learners are active in order to receive feedback on their learning approach based learning competencies (4).

The main purpose of evaluation is helping teachers to improve teaching methods and activities, helping managers to make sensible decisions about hiring, promotion, and ultimately improve teacher education as a profession (5). In recent years lecturing in the classroom has undergone improvements that are known as planned speech. In this way, talking will be combined to other active learning methods such as group discussions and questions and answers to increase the role of learners in education (6). Therefore, this study aimed to study the opinions of students about advantages of quizzes in the learning of microbiology course in the fifth semester of laboratory science in Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences.

Methods

This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2011 in Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences. The study population was all students of laboratory science in the fifth semester including 24 people, and sampling method was census. Individuals who tended to participate in the study were enrolled. Therefore, all the students participated in the study. In the first session students got familiar with quizzes. Students were told that the results of these quizzes were a part of their final score. In addition, at the end of each session the quiz grades of students were assessed based on the specified items, and the feedback was given to students so they got aware of their flaws.

At the end of this study, a questionnaire containing  11 questions were presented to assess the students' opinion about the advantages of  taking quizzes in class. These questions included  three areas:  increasing student motivation, class participation, and reducing the students' side activities. The questionnaire used in the study of microbiology quiz included two parts: First part contained  students'  demographic specifications such as gender and the second part contained 11 questions covering the main research questions based on 4-point Likert Scale; strongly disagree, disagree, agree and strongly agree .The following scores were given to each of the questions; scoring methods based on questionnaire was 1: strongly disagree, or less than 25%, 2: disagree, or between 26 and 50%, 3: agree or between 51 and 75% and 4: strongly agree, or more than 76% of cases. Reliability and validity of the questionnaire were assessed by expert advice and using Cronbach's Alpha (0.86). Data was analyzed and descriptive statistics have been extracted using SPSS version 16.

Results

 Of  24 students, 65.5% (19 students) were male and reminder were female. At the learning enhance area 55.17%, at motivation of students 62.70%, at participation in class 34.4% and at reducing side activities 10/34% believed that  quiz was effective in teaching microbiology course. The results of the students' opinions in the case of various questions in the questionnaire are given in Table 1. 

Table 2: Frequency of students' responses to each question

Strongly Agree (4)

Agree (3)

Disagree (2)

Strongly Disagree (1)

Questions

31.03%

44.83%

10.34%

13.79%

1

48.28%

31.03%

17.24%

3.45%

2

55.17%

31.03%

10.34%

3.45%

3

55.17%

27.59%

13.79%

3.45%

4

20.69%

13.03%

34.48%

20.69%

5

62.07%

24.14%

10.34%

3.45%

6

34.48%

24.14%

17.24%

20.69%

7

34.48%

27.59%

13.79%

20.69%

8

20.69%

13.03%

34.48%

20.69%

9

10.34%

27.59%

31.03%

31.03%

10

10.34%

10.34%

20.69%

58.62%

11

Discussion and Conclusion

Based on the results obtained in this study taking quizzes in microbiology course, in the  areas of increasing  motivation and decreasing  side activities of students had a great effect. Safari and colleagues in a study in 1385 comparing the satisfaction of teaching by speech and debate methods showed that the total amount of the satisfaction from two methods mentioned above have been satisfied (7). It is apparent  that students involve in the learning process and the ability of the student's learning concepts  impact  student learning efficiency; it also promotes a culture of self-learning in students. Compilations of many different types of methods have been employed in instruction, and the more they engage students in active learning the more they affect satisfaction of learning outcomes (8_11).

This study was designed based on the researcher's personal experiences and like any other research experience may have advantages and disadvantages (12). Moreover, as other researchers were assessed by questionnaire. Researcher encountered challenges such as students attending the  classes on time, interest and willingness to participate in class, followed by more content, increase of the mean score than prior periods and reducing malaise and lethargy in the classroom. There are plenty of the shortcomings as well as a making the teacher busy by correcting papers after each teaching session. To increase the  quality of teaching, great difficulty will be experienced; therefore the quality of teaching can be increased by reducing the number of courses that teachers require teaching.

The results of this study suggest that quiz taking is an effective way to increase student learning. Therefore, it is recommended that this method  be used by  teachers to enhance their teaching effectiveness.

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to express their gratitude to the Research Deputy of Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences for financial support. 

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