South-Central Section - 47th Annual Meeting (4-5 April 2013)

Paper No. 1-5
Presentation Time: 9:20 AM


PALSOLE, Sunay Vasant, The University of Texas at San Antonio, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249,

Introductory geology courses serve as a valuable pathway to connect students to the sciences, scientific reasoning and inquiry. In addition there is a great realization that efficient teaching in the geosciences has the potential to have far reaching effects in outreach to decision and policy makers (Herbert, 2006; Manduca & Mogk, 2006). Along with the excitement of teaching such a highly integrative science comes the challenges of helping non-majors understand the processes and the time spans associated with geological processes.

Traditionally quizzes are used to help learners self assess their skills or to measure recall of information. Recent studies (Karpicke & Blunt, 2011) have shown that retrieval practice showed greater learning gains than concept mapping. This study focused on rethinking the use of quizzes as self assessment or recall tools with the idea of using highly structured quizzes that mapped to steps in geological processes that helped students learn the processes when taking the quizzes. Preliminary data analysis indicates a positive correlation between higher student scores on in-class application exercises and time spent on the process quizzes. The data also indicate that when no credit was given for the structured process quizzes, student participation dropped resulting in lower overall grades on the application exercises.

This presentation will demonsrate the structured construction of the quizzes and share results of data analyzed over a span of 4 courses.