Workshop Synthesis

Major Themes

  1. There are several distinct roles for assessment including:
    • Promoting learning
    • Informing teaching
    • Understanding learning
    • Assigning grades
    • Institutional or professional evaluation
  2. Assessment occurs on multiple scales including:
    • Individual concepts
    • Courses
    • Programs
    • Institutions
    • Community wide
  3. Content, concepts, skills and attitudes are all important parts of learning that require assessing to understand learning and inform teaching.
  4. People including students and faculty are not very good at recognizing how they learn or the influences that impact their decisions (Taylor).
  5. Assignments, goals, assessments, and methods are developed iteratively and are most effective if aligned. We are lacking an understanding of the learning goals held in common by geoscientists needed to focus our work on assessment or research on learning.
  6. Good, reliable, valid assessment tools are hard and expensive to develop. This suggests that we need:
    • Collaborations
    • Sharing of existing examples and strategies for use and adaptation
    • Professional development (around development of assessments and their use (including how to integrate in teaching and time management)
  7. There are a wide variety of approaches to assessing learning-we need flexibility in picking the right assessment for the right setting, goal, situation.
  8. Geoscience assessments need to be firmly grounded in cognitive theory (learning science) and research, scholarship of teaching and learning, assessment research and practice.
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