Evaluating Learning

Assessment and Evaluation Strategies

In the Learning Community, students are being assessed utilizing a variety of methods:

  • Pre and post-course concepts maps to assess changes in comprehension of primary concepts (coal and energy)
  • Collaborative and cooperative in-class activities promoting peer teaching and learning
  • Application type questions and homework to develop/evaluate critical thinking skills
  • Pre and post-course open response, content questions to identify misconceptions and assimilation of content knowledge
  • Content assessments during the semester to evaluate student retention of fundamental facts and concepts as well as critical thinking/problems solving skills. These include individual, group problem solving components and student evaluation of their group members
  • Research poster presentation in the science class on specific social issue related to the coal industry. Students work in pairs to select subject from an approved list, research the issue and create a poster to a specific set of guidelines. Groups present their posters and all the faculty members score each poster according to a rubric (see rubric and list of topics)
  • Two oral presentations in the Folklore course based upon field research collecting projects. Presentations include an interpretation of material culture (artifacts), oral culture (story telling) and customs and traditions.
The science course is being evaluated by:
  • Using the SENCER-Student Attitudes of Learning Gains (SALG) webbased survey. Students complete a pre and post-course survey regarding their attitudes about science, their confidence in their abilities and the value of science. This provides a measure of whether or not the course is having a positive impact on students' perspectives. We are part of the SENCER SALG assessment project.
  • Using the Individual Development and Educational Assessment (IDEA) Student Ratings of Instruction course evaluation instrument developed by Kansas State University (see attached form). This instrument provides an exceptional analysis of the course with regard to faculty selected and prioritized learning outcomes, students' attitudes about the course and faculty performance. Additionally it permits comparisons to other courses of similar nature taught at other colleges and universities.

Exams and quizzes:

Sample Group Test: Geology (Acrobat (PDF) 86kB Jul17 08)

Sample Individual Test: Coal & Geology (Acrobat (PDF) 115kB Jul17 08)