Evaluating Learning

Formal Course Evaluations

Students were also asked to complete the SALG (Student Assessment of learning Gains) however, they complained that it was too long and therefore refused to complete it.

Each course receives a course evaluation from the University. There were no student comments on four of the courses so it is difficult to tell if students felt that this was better than a textbook driven class. Quantitative course evaluations in ENG 218 routinely reflect high levels of satisfaction with the course. In their reflective self-evaluations of their work on the Riverscape website, the students generally express high levels of satisfaction with the project and the process, but a surprisingly high number of students-even those in groups that will eventually earn top grades on the project- often express the desire to have more material, more time, and more opportunity to add advanced features to their sites. Since virtually all of the students in English 218 have previously completed basic courses in biology, physical science, and physics, they not only understand the science in the material that they are given to work into the sites, but also they often are able to envision ways to enhance and expand that material with additional information, images, and links to external research materials. The fact that even the most successful students can see further possibilities for improving the site indicates high levels of student engagement with the project and its outcomes. The following comments are typical of the students' self-evaluations:

Overall I think our group project is well organized and creative. Our site information is concise and informative. The only I thing I would do differently if allowed would be to use extra research other than that which was given to us.

I think that we did a good job on the site considering that we had people in the group that had very little experience with creating websites. I am most proud of efficiently my group worked together. I wish that we had more time to think of other creative things to do with the site.

My overall assessment is that we worked very well together. I'm most proud of the fact that everyone did there job. I wish we had a little more time to add more features to it.

I believe that my group did an exceptional job overall. Even though our web page was simple and to the point, we believe that for web pages "the simpler, the better". I was most proud to see the finish product. After just typing html, to see the web page actually work was exciting for me. If anything, I wish I had more time to be of more help to my group. I had so much other work on my hands that I don't think I was asset to my group like I wanted to be.

Informal Reflective Exit Portfolio

The students in EDU608 produce a reflective electronic exit portfolio to show their supervising teacher in the student teaching clinical practicum that they know and can do the skills delineated by the INTASC (Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium) Standards for Preservice Teachers. Evidence from the Riverscape experience that coincide with these standards include:

Standard 1. Knowledge of Subject Matter.

Standard 3. Adapting Instruction for Individual Needs.

Standard 4. Uses Multiple Instructional Strategies.

Standard 6. Communication Skills.

Standard 8. Assessment of Student Learning.

Standard 10. Partnerships - Students saw faculty working as partners and community organizations providing formal and informal science opportunities to K-6 students and their parents.