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Wednesday, June 22 • 16:45 - 18:00
POSTER.51 - Can Collaborative Testing Within an Undergraduate Neuroanatomy Course Increase Student Retention and Minimize Anxiety? A Pilot Study.

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The organization of an undergraduate course can assist student centered learning. Changing evaluation practices within higher education can positively affect student learning by reducing testing anxiety. This pilot study seeks to investigate the suitability of collaborative testing as an assessment tool within a 12-week undergraduate neuroanatomy course. As part of the course design, students will complete three term tests and a final exam, where all four assessments use the collaborative testing assessment strategy. Tests include multiple choice, short answer, and diagram questions. Changes in testing anxiety and levels of long term retention will be investigated and measured using a modified version of the Test Anxiety Inventory Likert scale and test performance (Taylor and Deane, 2010). By analyzing the suitability of collaborative learning within this course, this study will assist in developing effective assessment strategies that can empower learners to gain the most of their post-secondary education.

Current research involving collaborative testing has measured changes in anxiety and student retention using collaborative tests which consist primarily of multiple choice questions but also open-ended short answer questions, however, studies have yet to focus on measuring long term retention(Hanson and Carpenter, 2011). It is anticipated that as levels of testing anxiety are tracked, high levels will occur during the first term test and will subsequently decrease as students become accustomed to the collaborative environment. Due to the conversational nature of this assessment strategy it is also anticipated that discussions generated by students during the assessment will aid in increasing student performance and long term retention. Ultimately, by engaging in this poster presentation, participants will be able to engage in discussions with the presenter about:
  • preliminary findings of this pilot study
  • methods used to implement the collaborative testing strategy.
  • innovative ways to analyze student anxiety and retention.

Hanson, M., & Carpenter, D. (2011). Integrating cooperative learning into classroom testing: implications for nursing education and practice. Nursing Education Perspectives, 32(4): 270-273.

Taylor, J. & Deane, F. (2010). Development? of a short form of the Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI). The Journal of General Psychology, 129(2): 127-136.


Kaitlyn Bertram

Kaitlyn Bertram is a Masters of Biomedical Science student who graduated with Honours BSc in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Guelph. Lisa Robertson and Lorraine Jadeski co-advise Kaitlyn and are Assistant and Associate Professors in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and... Read More →

Additional Authors

Lisa Robertson

Assistant Professor in the department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Guelph.

Lorraine Jadeski

Dr. Lorraine Jadeski is the director of the Human Anatomy Program in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph.

Wednesday June 22, 2016 16:45 - 18:00 EDT
Atrium, Physics & Astronomy Building Western University