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Assessment as the “Hidden Variable” in Achievement. Michael Zeilik Dept. of Physics & Astronomy The University of New Mexico (NSF DUE 99-85511). What Works in Higher Ed? 20th Century Gain Results. Active Learning, Mastery Learning ( SD ≥ 0.5 , PSI, discussion, debates, games, role playing)

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assessment as the hidden variable in achievement

Assessmentas the “Hidden Variable”in Achievement

Michael Zeilik

Dept. of Physics & Astronomy

The University of New Mexico

(NSF DUE 99-85511)

what works in higher ed 20th century gain results
What Works in Higher Ed? 20th Century Gain Results
  • Active Learning, Mastery Learning(SD ≥ 0.5, PSI, discussion, debates, games, role playing)
  • Cooperative Learning(SD≥ 0.5, cognitive and affective; century of research, all disciplines)
  • One-on-One Tutoring(SD = 2, with trained tutors)
what does not work standard models sd 0 3 everything else
What Does Not Work? Standard Models (SD< 0.3)Everything Else!
  • Lectures:Reinforce memorization; promote illusion of competence; educational seduction (Dr. Fox)!
  • Still not better than lectures:
    • Computer-based, instructional television, Web-based
evidence based reform
Evidence-Based Reform
  • Active learning

+ Classroom assessment

= Achievement: Deep conceptual understanding

(“sticky learning”)

what is active learning
What is Active Learning?
  • Instructional activities that engage students’ minds (the “sticky” factor)
  • Interactive lectures, discussion, cooperative learning teams, role playing, peer teaching, minute papers, concept mapping, games, cooperative tests, controversies
  • Require alternative assessments
what works in context physics astronomy paer
What Works in Context: Physics & Astronomy (PAER)
  • Disciplinary education research, “tools of the trade” for experiments
  • Empirical robustknowledge base about learning in physics & astronomy
  • Probe initial state (prior knowledge), final state (learning outcomes)
  • Measurechange: Assessment!Field-tested Learning Assessment Guide (FLAG:
flag cats
Attitudinal Surveys:E. Seymour, E. Lewis

Concept Tests:A. Ellis

Concept Maps: M. Zeilik

Conceptual Diagnostic Tests: M. Zeilik

Interviews: M. Smith, S. A. Southerland

Performance Assessments: T. Slater

Portfolios: T. Slater

Scoring Rubrics: D. Ebert-May

Student Assessment of Learning Gains:E. Seymour

Weekly Reports:E. Etkina

Mathematical Thinking: M. Swan, J. Rideway

Multiple-Choice Tests: J. Parkes

Minute Papers: M. Zeilik

conceptual diagnostic tests
Conceptual Diagnostic Tests
  • Assess prior knowledge of students
  • “Misconceptions” research, “think aloud” interviews; “natural language”
  • Measure pre/post conceptual gains (normalized gain, <g>)
  • Force Concept Inventory (FCI); Astronomy Diagnostic Test:“Astro 101”, nationally normed, reliable & valid
from quarks to cosmos committee on the physics of the universe nrc
From Quarks to Cosmos(Committee on the Physics of the Universe; NRC)
  • 11 interface areas (21st century!) UNM Physics 102 (Conceptual Physics) poll, top 5:
    • What is dark matter?
    • What is the nature of dark energy?
    • How did the universe begin?
    • Are there additional spacetime dimensions?
    • What are the masses of neutrinos?
student assessment of learning gains salg
Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG)
  • Probes learning gains students perceive for specific aspects
  • Avoids performance critiques (“Dr. Fox”) of instructor (not correlated with conceptual gain)
  • Easily customized (15 min); access through FLAG(hosted by University of Colorado/Boulder)
assessment c lessons gender sometimes matters
Assessment “C” Lessons(Gender Sometimes Matters!)
  • Content matters!
  • Concepts matter!
  • Connections matter!
  • Context matters!
  • Confidence?
  • Competence?

Assessment probes all & increases achievement by 0.5 SD!