About the Cutting Edge Embedded Assessment Project

Evaluation of the On the Cutting Edge project to date has rested on self-report data describing teaching practice. In order to verify these results and to better understand geoscience teaching nationwide, Cutting Edge is sponsoring a research project to pilot the use of embedded assessments in classrooms across the US. The team will explore a way to assess student learning in diverse classrooms across the country. Essay questions will probe students' deeper understanding of key concepts and aspects of geoscience reasoning. These questions will be designed to be embedded in student assessments in a wide variety of courses to obtain comparative data.

Testing Embedded Assessments in Your Classroom

If you are interested in testing the embedded assessment questions in your classroom you'll need:

  1. You may need to seek IRB approval. The Institutional Review Board at Carleton has approved the Embedded Assessment project as EXEMPT. This approval may be sufficient to provide the collected student data to the Embedded Assessment project. However, each institution may require a separate IRB application. Copies of the IRB application for Carleton College can be provided as an example. Because Carleton College approved the application as EXEMPT, testers are not required to maintain a formal, signed consent form for each student. However, testers still need to inform their students about this research so that the students have the option to not have their student assessments included. Carleton College still prefers signed student consent forms as the means to ensure that students are informed and have the opt-out option, while some institutions allow for an implied consent form. Examples of both can be provided. Testers will need to select the option that aligns with their institution's interpretation of the EXEMPT status.
  2. Keep questions secure. The questions are designed to be embedded into exams in your course. To maintain the validity of the questions, it is important that students do not remove questions from the testing area and that they are not returned to students after the exam.
  3. Return the data to the Embedded Assessment team. We prefer to receive data electronically, either in a downloaded file from your institutions electronic testing systems, or as a pdf file.

If you are interested in testing questions in your classroom, please contact Ellen Iverson (eiverson@carleton.edu) or Kristin O'Connell (koconnell@carleton.edu)

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