The TRIPSE: A process-oriented exam for large undergraduate classes

Authors

  • Stash Nastos,

    1. Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honors) Program, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1, Canada
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  • P. K. Rangachari

    Corresponding author
    • Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honors) Program, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1, Canada
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Address for correspondence to: Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honors) Program, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1, Canada. E-mail: chari@mcmaster.ca

Abstract

The TRIPSE (tri-partite problem solving exercise), a process-oriented exam that mimics the scientific process, was used previously in small classes (15–25). Provided limited data, students frame explanations and design experimental tests that they later revise with additional information. Our 6-year experience using it with larger numbers (155–204) in a freshman biology course, suggests that it could provide a means of assessing individual student performance. Students rated the learning value of this experience to be significantly higher than a standard MCQ on a 10-point scale (TRIPSEs 8.2, CI 8.1/8.4 vs. MCQs 4.9, CI 4.8/5.1, n = 712). Additionally, we tested one cohort (n = 146) with a group TRIPSE (groups of 6), and found that this variant also provided a valuable learning experience (8.0, CI 7.7/8.3). © 2013 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 41(3):145–155, 2013

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