Case study: Supporting large enrolments in Science

Student profile:
Students enrolled:

BIOL121 Human biological science 1
most undergraduate health science courses, first year
Dr Genevieve Morris
varies per degree, many working, parents, and ESL students

In this case study Dr Genevieve Morris discusses the challenges of supporting large student enrolments that have varying knowledge backgrounds in Science.


  • LEO lesson modules used to improve student outcomes
  • Educational games - formative assessment

Hear about Dr Genevieve Morris experience.

ACU Case study: Supporting large enrolments in Science
Many thanks to the Faculty of Law and Business for the use of their Pop-up Studio equipment to record this interview.

Length: 7 mins.

Unit design

This inter-professional foundation unit introduces students to the principles of anatomy and physiology of major body systems.

Revision modules

To help support students online lessons revising an understanding of basic Biology and Chemistry were provided.

They were designed to be most useful to people who may not have studied science since year 10, or may have left school some time ago.

Lessons included individual topics for students to personalise their learning.

The targeted group with no science background benefited significantly from the biology lessons (Figure.1). There was no improvement in exam mark for those that did Biology at year 12 if they used the lesson.

The targeted group with no science background benefited significantly from the biology lessons, shown in bar chart. There was no improvement in exam mark for those that did Biology at year 12 if they used the lesson.

Figure 1.





Face to face

3 x 1 hour

Lectures. Also recorded and provided on LEO site.

Face to face

2 hours


Face to face1 hourtutorial
Asynchronous online modules - voluntary Available for students to learn/revise Biology and Chemistry knowledge.


Assessment task

Weighting (%)




Students are provided with a set of worksheets during week 4 of semester. These questions are related to topics undertaken from weeks 1 to 6 of semester, inclusive. Questions include: short answer questions; labeling of diagrams; fill in the blank questions.

Quiz 1 - 30 mins - online


The quizzes are multiple choice questions or simple format questions covering the material presented in lectures, tutorials, practicals, on-line activities, text-book readings and any other materials presented during the relevant weeks.
Quiz 2 - 60 mins - face to face25%It will assess material from week 3 up to and including week 9.
Exam45%The examination will include questions from all the topics  covered during the semester. Question formats may include Multiple Choice, short answer, labeling of diagrams, and fill in the blanks.


This is a list of some of the major tools used in this unit.




LEO lesson tool

The lesson tool was used to create learning modules for Chemistry and Biology. Integrating videos, quizzes, text, diagrams.

See LEO guide for Lesson activities.

LEO quiz toolQuiz tool is used both for formative feedback in the modules and also as a summative assessment tool. 

Vocabulary quizzes were also integrated into the unit.
See the eLearning101 webinars, Quizzes in LEO part 1 and 2

See LEO Quiz guide


Genevieve and her team had 3 hours training in LEO lesson tool in preparation for building this unit.

Lessons learned

  • Remembering at the start to embed copyright attribution for external content
  • Plan what you want to achieve in terms of student outcomes
  • Collaborating on the build with colleagues
  • Start small. Not doing everything at once, instead stepping out the build into stages over 2 years.

Student feedback

  • “The biology and chemistry lessons were a huge help, being that i had not done any science subjects in over 10 years. They formed the basis for what we learnt throughout the semester. Without knowing the basics it would have been harder to grasp concepts, very grateful that these were available”

Next time

The academic would like to focus on the following for future iterations of the unit:

  • Creating a system/tool to practice of short answer questions
  • Adaptive vocabulary quizzes

Further reading

To read more about the project see this 1 page poster, Fundamentals of Biology Learning Module (Morris, James and Martinac 2015).


Morris, G., James, S. and Martinac, B. 2015. Fundamentals of Biology Learning Module. School of Science, ACU, St. Patrick’s Campus.