2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 11-3
Presentation Time: 8:30 AM

STUDENT LEARNING IN GEOSCIENCE COURSES INCORPORATING SOCIETAL ISSUES AND GRAND CHALLENGES FACING SOCIETY


CAULKINS, Joshua L., Department of Geosciences, University of Rhode Island, 9 Greenhouse Road, Tyler Hall, Kingston, RI 02881, STEER, David, Department of Geosciences, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-4101, IVERSON, Ellen, Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, 1 North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057, MANDUCA, Cathryn, Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, NAGT c/o Carleton College, B-SERC, One North College St, Northfield, MN 55057, SAVINA, Mary E., Geology, Carleton College, 1 N. College St, Northfield, MN 55057 and AWAD, Aida, Science, Maine Township High School East, 2601 Dempster, Park Ridge, IL 60068, caulkins@mail.uri.edu

Assessment team members from the Interdisciplinary Teaching about Earth for a Sustainable Future (InTeGrate) project analyzed student responses to assessments collected from pilot implementations at multiple universities. InTeGrate is a Science Talent Expansion Program supporting teaching of geoscience within the context of societal issues across the curriculum. Pilot implementations involved insertion of two week long curricula developed using a rigorous design rubric requiring student centered approaches to teaching and learning. Students answered a common set of eight pre- and post-course multiple choice questions and two end-of-course essay questions. The multiple choice instrument included four single answer and four multi-select multiple choice questions. Students could score one point for a correct single-answer multiple choice question, two points if all correct answers were selected on a multi-select question (one point if more answers were correct than were incorrect). Students (n=1086) scored 6.3 +/- 3.7 pre-course and 6.8 +/-3.8 for a 9% normalized gain (p<0.0001). The assessment team found this improvement to be stable over a two year period. Students taught using InTeGrate modules and a control group taught without using those materials were asked to answer an essay question asking them to connect a global grand challenge they discussed in their course content to economic, social or political decision making. While students in a control section (n=153) were most likely to focus on global climate change (53%) and fossil fuel issues (16%), many students in the InTeGrate groups focused instead on the topic of their two-week module. These results suggest that InTeGrate has successfully broadened the scope of student understanding of global grand challenges. Assessment team members found student responses to a second essay question on earth systems to be unsatisfactory with 35% of students lacking the ability to score any points on the question and another 30% only able to list two interacting components of the Earth System. Assessment team members determined this question lacked face validity and re-drafted the question for future testing.
Handouts
  • InTeGrate_Data_Talk_GSA2014_Caulkins_etal.pdf (2.5 MB)