Formative Self-Assessment Modules on the Web: Increasing Flexibility for Delivery

Sue Franklin, Alison Lewis, Mary Peat


The increasing use of the web for the delivery of teaching and learning materials has led to an increase in flexibility of access for students. A student with access to the Internet is thus able, in a userfriendly non-confrontational way, to access these materials at any time. In First Year Biology the web is being used for many purposes including the delivery of self-assessment materials. One set of materials, known as Self-Assessment Modules (SAMs), consists of a series of formative tests and exercises aimed at helping students monitor their level of understanding of major biological concepts (Franklin, Peat and Mackay-Wood, 1997; Peat, Franklin and Mackay-Wood, 1997). The SAMs draw together related parts of the subject and so help the students to make connections between seemingly unrelated topics in biology while providing an enjoyable feedback and reinforcement session. A number of different learning modes are utilised by the SAMs so that, by catering for different learning styles, the module encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning, and promotes the development of deeper learning strategies by the students.

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