June 15, 2012

Students as Formative Assessment Partners

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“Creating a climate that maximizes student accomplishment in any discipline focuses on student learning instead of assigning grades. This requires students to be involved as partners in the assessment of learning and to use assessment results to change their own learning tactics.” (p. 136) The authors of this comment continue by pointing out that this assessment involves the use of formative feedback and that feedback has the greatest benefit when it addresses multiple aspects of learning. This kind of assessment should contain feedback on the product (the completed task) and feedback on progress (the extent to which the student is improving over time). The article then describes a number of formative feedback activities that illustrate how students can be involved as partners in the assessment process. Their involvement means that formative feedback can be given more frequently.


January 19, 2012

An Assessment Technique Using Research Articles

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In entry-level courses it’s often a struggle to get students to see that the content has larger significance and intriguing aspects. In most science textbooks, for example, only well-established facts are presented, and they are supported by equally well-know research studies. Textbooks don’t usually identify areas of inquiry where the questions have yet to be answered or the findings so far are controversial. And yet often, this is the content most likely to interest students. But can you expect beginning students to read original sources, like research studies? Could you expect them to answer test questions about those articles?


February 2, 2009

Concept Mapping Improves Student Learning

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Donna Saulsberry was in a bind. As an associate professor of computer and information technology at Doña Ana Community College, one of her jobs is to prepare her networking students for the Microsoft® Certified Systems Engineer certification test. Having survived a Microsoft certification boot camp herself, she began instructing her students in much the same way as she was taught: lecture, practice, and multiple choice tests.


August 31, 2008

Developing an Alternate Assessment Exercise for an Introductory Chemistry Course

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In recent years, my desire to teach students more than chemistry content has increased considerably. I now want my students (even those in nonmajor, introductory courses) to learn how chemistry connects to their daily lives. Learning the nomenclature rules for monosubstituted amides helps students in the introductory course on their content-based standardized exam at the end of the semester, but it does not help them appreciate the relevance of chemistry across various disciplines. I have also struggled with…