Essays About Observing and Assessing Student Learning

These essays were written by participants at the 2005 On the Cutting Edge workshop Understanding What Our Geoscience Students Are Learning: Observing and Assessing. Download a PDF including all the essays (Acrobat (PDF) 6.4MB May24 05). (Current through noon, 5/10/05)

Do learners see what we think they see? (Acrobat (PDF) 878kB May10 05) - Paul Bierman and Christine Massey, University of Vermont
The authors explore the potential differences between what faculty expect students to see in images in the classroom and what they may actually see.

Wine Tasting, Physics, and Formative Evaluation: Using Technology for Assessing Learning in Large (and Small) Classes (Acrobat (PDF) 114kB May3 05) - Michael Giordano, University of Michigan
In this essay the author describes the use of a classroom resoponse system including the process of selection and installation, using this technology in formative assessment and some applications to the geosciences.

The Role of E-Portfolios and Academic Roadmaps (i.e., Concept Maps) in an Outcome- and Assessment-Based Geoscience Curriculum (Acrobat (PDF) 79kB May10 05) - Daniel Murray, University of Rhode Island
The University of Rhode Island began an electronic portfolio system, as a means to efficiently track the assessment component of the new outcomes-based curricula that was emerging within the college. The school joined a group of schools using TRUE-OUTCOMES, an electronic portfolio program that manages assessment-based science and engineering curricula. This essay refers to several additional files: CE-DPM-COURSE.pdf (Acrobat (PDF) 86kB May10 05), CE-DPM-OUTCOMES.pdf (Acrobat (PDF) 116kB May10 05), GEO_OUTCOMES_MATRIX.xls (Excel 25kB May10 05), CE-DPM-ROADMAP.xls (Excel 117kB May10 05). Additional information is also on the author's Workshop Poster (Acrobat (PDF) 791kB May11 05).

A Fractal Thinker Looks at Learning, Observing and Assessment - Ed Nuhfer, Idaho State University
This essay draws parallels between the order-in-chaos of fractal mathematics and the order-in-chaos of good teaching.

Earth Data, Science Writing, and Peer Review in a Large general Education Oceanography Class (Acrobat (PDF) 4.9MB Apr28 05) - William A. Prothero, Jr., University of California, Santa Barbara
In this essay, the author discusses the how technology has aided in the integration of writing and peer review into the curriculum for a large general education oceanography class.

Technology-Based Assessments of Student Learning (Acrobat (PDF) 110kB May10 05) - Edys Quellmalz, SRI International
This paper summarizes design principles forged and some of the assessments developed at the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International that are particularly relevant to geoscience.

An Assessment-Based Approach for Evaluating Learning in Natural Science General Education Classes (Acrobat (PDF) 42kB Apr28 05) - David Steer, University of Akron
The author describes the use of the Geology Concepts Inventory (GCI) in evaluating the learning students achieve in the general education class, Earth Science at The University of Akron.

Designs for Assessing Foundational Data Literacy (Acrobat (PDF) 189kB May24 05) - Daniel Zalles, Center for Technology in Learning, SRI International
This essay describes assessments developed and piloted at SRI International that measure data literacy.