On the Cutting Edge - Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
Developing Student Understanding of Complex Systems in the Geosciences
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Assessments of Complex Systems Learning


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MySystem and Energy Story part of Assessments
The assessment includes a MySystem, which is a diagramming tool that is used to show flows in a system, and an Energy Story, which allows students to create a narrative explanation of a system.

The Tragedy of the Commons Homework part of Assessments
This is actually a homework assignment that we talk about in class. But when we talk about it I discover how my students are thinking. So it also serves as a formative assessment that I use to find out whether ...

Final Exam diagrams part of Assessments
For a portion of thier final exam, the students must diagram two of the Earth Systems cycles.

Concept Modeling Assessment part of Assessments
Students are asked to create a concept model demonstrating an understanding of gene expression, from the molecular to the organismal level.

Understanding What Students Know about Global Climate Change: Conceptual Understanding using Concept Maps part of Assessments
This assessment is designed to assess what students know conceptually about global climate change using concept maps.

Aquarium Ecosystem Assessment part of Assessments
This assesses students knowledge of aquarium ecosystems. It has been used largely with middle school science.

A Concept Mapping Assessment of Climate Change Concepts part of Cutting Edge:Student Learning: Observing and Assessing:Activities
After a brief tutorial on hierarchical concept maps, we ask students in a course on planetary climate change to construct a hierarchical concept map about climate, prompted by several leading questions about climate, climate science, and climate change around which we (roughly) organize the course. We conduct this exercise at the beginning and end of the semester, score the concept maps (two scorers with results reconciled and averaged), and evaluate changes in the scores statistically.

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