Journal Club Overview

This journal club provides an opportunity to dive into the literature on assessing student learning and assessment methods, particularly in the context of the geosciences and other STEM disciplines, and to discuss it in depth with interested colleagues.

Jump down to: Potential Readings | Dates and Times | Expectations | Selection Criteria | Payment | Outcomes

Journal Club Goals

We will:

  • Explore strategies for assessing student learning in the classroom and share concrete examples
  • Develop greater understanding of the techniques of assessing student learning and consider under what circumstances or context each technique works best
  • Think critically about how to align assessment strategies to learning outcomes
  • Consider different levels of learning measured by different strategies
  • Develop a common, shared vocabulary for thinking about and discussing assessment

Potential Readings and Discussion Themes

Although specific readings and discussion themes for each month have not yet been selected, we will select journal articles and selected chapters which are likely to include some of the following:
  • Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers (Thomas Angelo and K. Patricia Cross, 1993) gives detailed, how-to advice on classroom assessment through twelve case studies and features fifty classroom assessment techniques.
  • Understanding by Design (Grant Wiggins, Jay McTighe , 1998) provides a practical framework for designing curriculum, assessment, and instruction including a continuum of assessment methods.
  • Assessment and Active Learning Strategies for Introductory Geology Courses, David McConnell, David Steer, Kathie Owens, 2003, Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 51, n. 2, March, 2003, p. 205-216, is a good, concise, introduction to assessment techniques.
  • Libarkin, J.C. and S.W. Anderson, 2005, Assessment of Learning in Entry-Level Geoscience Courses: Results from the Geoscience Concept Inventory JGE v53 n4 p. 394.
  • An Assessment-Based Approach for Evaluating Learning in Natural Science General Education Classes - David Steer, University of Akron 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. This essay was written for the Observing and Assessing Student Learning Workshop.
  • Fuhrman, Miriam; Srogi, LeeAnn; Kraft, Katrien J.; Linneman, Scott; Yoshinobu, Aaron S.; and Zalles, Daniel (2005): The Geoscience Concept Crystal: A Map To Facilitate Development Of Well-Aligned Undergraduate Geoscience Curricula And Assessments
  • Rebich, S. and C. Gautier, 2005, Concept Mapping to Reveal Prior Knowledge and Conceptual Change in a Mock Summit Course on Global Climate Change JGE v53 n4 p. 355.
  • Incorporating Concept Sketching Into Teaching Undergraduate Geomorphology Lucas J. Reusser, Lee B. Corbett and Paul R. Bierman Journal of Geoscience Education Feb 2012, Vol. 60, No. 1 (February 2012) pp. 3-9
  • Assessing the Impact of Geoscience Laboratories on Student Learning: Who Benefits from Introductory Labs? Karl G. Nelson, Kristin Huysken and Zoran Kilibarda Journal of Geoscience Education Jan 2010, Vol. 58, No. 1 (January 2010) pp. 43-50
  • Perceptions of the Nature of Science by Geoscience Students Experiencing Two Different Courses of Study Louis S. Nadelson and Karen Viskupic Journal of Geoscience Education Nov 2010, Vol. 58, No. 5 (November 2010) pp. 275-285
  • The Relationship Between Instructors' Conceptions of Geoscience Learning and Classroom Practice at a Research University C. T. Markley, H. Miller, T. Kneeshaw and B. E. Herbert Journal of Geoscience Education Sep 2009, Vol. 57, No. 4 (September 2009) pp. 264-274

Meeting Dates and Times

  • Tuesdays: February 19, March 19, April 16, May 14
  • 9am -10am Pacific, 10am -11am Mountain, 11am -12pm Central, 12pm -1pm Eastern


To facilitate a deep exploration of this topic, participants are expected to

  • Digest the readings and post questions, comments, or thoughts on a discussion board
  • Attend and contribute to all four discussion sessions

Application and Selection Criteria

Applications are closed. The journal club will be limited to 12 participants. Participants will be selected with the goal of assembling a group with expertise in assessing student learning in the geosciences and other STEM disciplines and geoscience education, as well as a spectrum of institutional settings and teaching experiences and a diversity of participants. Preference is given to applicants who hold faculty positions at colleges and universities. Applicants will be notified of selection in January. For more information see our page on general information for Cutting Edge workshop participants.


The cost of the journal club is $145 (or $100 for NAGT members). Our National Science Foundation grant provides funding for the remainder of the operational costs of the workshop.


We will post summaries of what we learn shortly after each meeting and will develop an annotated list of recommended readings on assessing student learning in the geosciences.

For more information

Please contact Ellen Iverson (eiverson AT

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