Pop Quiz

Pop Quiz: New Ways of Testing

I am still reeling from the amazing time that was Dragon*Con. Happily, I had a chance to talk to quite a few educators about general concepts in education, as well as share our CosmoQuest materials with them. Many science teachers are excited about the new direction being taken by the Next Generation Science Standards or trying new approaches such as project-based learning. But newbie educators (myself included) find it a bit more difficult to assess these more complicated and deeper forms of learning. In my brief time as a college instructor, I modified a rubric used for my predecessor for grading a research paper for “Life Beyond Earth” class, which had a wide freedom of topics. But I find myself possibly grading too un-harshly (if that makes sense) in that case, maybe giving my students too much the benefit of the doubt on such an open assignment. Then, how does one grade an ongoing project, or measure specific skills learned over the course of a semester or a year?

One of my colleagues is starting a skills-based method of grading (here is an example) for a physics class which will look for students to master certain concepts, not just correctly solve problems. Some will be in the lab and others (such as force diagrams) on paper, but it makes grading a bit of a challenge. I look forward to (and will hopefully report on) his results as the experiment progresses.

What novel methods of assessment have you used of contemplated using in your classroom? What resources could you suggest for those looking for them? 

The Pop Quiz is a question posed to you, the Scholars of Doubt. Look for it to appear Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 3pm ET.

Feature photo CC Justin_D_Miller

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Nicole

Nicole

Nicole is an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at a small liberal arts college. Her home on the internet can be found at One Astronomer's Noise.

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