Assessment, Observation, and Educational Research
Why Conduct Formal Research on Your Student's Learning?
The Student Learning: Observing and Assessing Workshop identified the need to share information about assessing students. Setting up educational research projects in the geoscience classroom is one way to address this need.
This page is designed for faculty new to educational research and will get faculty started.
How To Design and Conduct Classroom Research
- Decide on the Scope of your Research
- Introductory Resources:
- Larry E Suter and Joy Frechtling, 2000, Guiding Principles for Mathematics and Science Education Research Methods: Report of a Workshop, November, 1998, Arlington, VA.
- OERL: Online Evaluation Resource Library website designed for professionals working on project evaluations.
- The American Evaluation Association has a list of online handbooks and texts that describe "how to" develop evaluations.
- Sherri Quiones and Rita Kirshstein, Pelavin Research Center American Institutes for Research, 1998, An Educator's Guide to Evaluating The Use of Technology in Schools and Classrooms prepared for the U.S. Department of Education, includes basic information on evaluation in a workbook format.
- What Data Do You Need to Collect? What Tools Will You Use to Collect Data?
- See an Designing An Evaluation: Methodological Approach and Sampling, from OERL.
- Interview Resources
- Developing Interviews: Preparing an Interview Protocol from OERL.
- Sandoval, William A. and Katheryn Morrison, 2003, "High School Students' Ideas about Theories and Theory Change after a Biological Inquiry Unit" Journal of Research in Science Teaching V. 40 N. 4, pp. 369-392. Is a good example with extensive information about the procedures and analysis of their interviews.
- Questionnaire Resources
- Get Human Subjects Research Approval
- By Federal law, all colleges and universities with Federal funding have an Institutional Review Board to approve the use of humans as research subjects. Having students fill out surveys as part of an educational research project typically requires approval by the Board, even if the project ends up with an exemption.
- Find the Human Subjects Committee on Your Campus and Their Protocols for Research Approval. Typically this involves answering questions about the scope and activities of the research and submitting documentation about the project, survey questions, and ways to ensure confidentiality. For example, Carleton College's process can be found here Carleton College's IRB information. Sample informed consent forms can also be found here.
- Assess the Results.
- What Are My Conclusions from An Educator's Guide to Evaluating the Use of Technology in Schools and Classrooms - December, offers practical advice for evaluating results.
- The American Evaluation Association includes links to Qualitative Data Analysis Software
- Write Up Your Findings. The following journals may be interested in research on geoscience education:
See the abstracts from the Methods of Assessing Teaching and Learning in the Geosciences 2005 GSA Annual Meeting Presentations.
See the abstracts from the "Methods of Assessing Teaching and Learning in the Geosciences (Posters)" 2005 GSA Annual Meeting Poster Session I.
See the abstracts from the "Methods of Assessing Teaching and Learning in the Geosciences (Posters)" 2005 GSA Annual Meeting Poster Session II.