Rocky Mountain Section - 64th Annual Meeting (911 May 2012)
Paper No. 1-11
Presentation Time: 11:45 AM-12:00 PM


HARDER, Vicki, Department of Natural Sciences, Western New Mexico University, Silver City, NM 88062,

University course evaluations do little to provide an instructor information on where students are having difficulties with the material or what students have learned in your course. They are also not very timely, coming to you after the semester is long over. In the online classroom the instructor has an even more difficult time with determining how effective their teaching is since it lacks visual and vocal feedback from students that can be used as an indicator of comprehension. Standard questions such as "list the minerals of Moh's hardness scale," or "describe the plate boundaries" can also leave an instructor wondering about the effectiveness of the course and doesn't allow much mental input from the student. Throughout the semester in my online courses I've inserted what I call instructor assessment questions into my classes in order to obtain immediate feedback on my teaching and their learning. These include asking students to summarize what they've learned after completing several rounds of related experiments, to play an online quiz game, report their score, what they missed and why they thought they missed it, and to describe important things they think the general public should know about the topic.

These types of assessment questions have helped me improve my overall teaching by becoming more aware of what students are thinking, not just at the end of the semester, but during the semester, too, while it is still fresh on my mind. It has helped me know whether my instructions to an activity need to be written in a more clear manner, or modify it, or to dump it altogether. The assessment questions indicate which topics students struggle with and to help me understand why they struggle with them.

Rocky Mountain Section - 64th Annual Meeting (911 May 2012)
General Information for this Meeting


  • Harder.pptx (898.6KB) - Upload Presentation File (After Meeting)
Session No. 1
Geoscience Education: Current Practice and Research I
Hotel Albuquerque: Alvarado C
8:30 AM-12:00 PM, Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 44, No. 6, p. 3

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