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An example of large group drama and cross-year peer assessment for teaching science in higher education

[journal article]

Sloman, Katherine; Thompson, Richard

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-199125

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Abstract Undergraduate students spanning three years of a marine biology degree programme (n=86) experienced a large-group drama aimed at allowing them to explore how scientific research is funded and the associated links between science and society. In the drama, year one students played the 'general public' who decided which environmental research areas should be prioritised for funding, year two students were the 'scientists' who had to prepare research proposals which they hoped to get funded and year three students were the 'research panel' who decided which proposals to fund with input from the priorities set by the 'general public'. The drama, therefore, included an element of cross-year peer assessment where level three students evaluated the research proposals prepared by the level two students. Questionnaires were distributed at the end of the activity to gather a) student perceptions on the cross-year nature of the exercise b) the use of peer assessment and c) their overall views on the drama. The students valued the opportunity to interact with their peers from other years of the degree programme and most were comfortable with the use of cross-year peer assessment. The majority of students felt that they had increased their knowledge of how research proposals are funded and the perceived benefits of the large group drama included increased critical thinking ability, confidence in presenting work to others and enhanced communication skills. Only one student did not strongly advocate the use of this large-group drama in subsequent years.
Keywords drama
Classification University Education
Free Keywords Assessment; Environmental education; Learning environment; Peer assessment; Science education; University
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
Page/Pages p. 1877-1893
Journal International Journal of Science Education, 32 (2009) 14
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500690903229312
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)