Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Anna C. Hiatt

Committee Members

Patrick J. P. Brown, Cecilia A. McIntosh


Several active learning strategies have been used when increasing the structure of a course as increasing course structure has been known to improve student learning in introductory STEM courses. Much has been studied on the value of frequent formative assessment; however, few studies have evaluated the effective modes of delivering summative assessment. This study examines the use of summative assessment as an inclusive teaching practice to improve first generation college student success in introductory biology and also uses faculty surveys to find out how instructors structure their introductory biology course and why they are structured that way. Final exams were evaluated by Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning. Survey results showed that many instructors used online activities most of the time to supplement face-to-face courses. However, student and faculty viewpoints on assessments offer many interesting insights into how instructors may modify teaching strategies to increase the success of diverse student populations.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.