GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 306-8
Presentation Time: 4:00 PM


JONES, Jason P. and MCCONNELL, David A., Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695,

In recent years, there has been an impetus within the geoscience community towards developing and adapting research-validated, student-centered learning activities for geoscience courses. This type of initiative is essential if we are to work towards maximizing student learning. However, while these teaching strategies are useful for the instructor, they may not make the learning process itself explicit to the student. We developed the Confidence-based Learning Accuracy Support System (CLASS) to provide a method for assessing and supporting students’ awareness of their learning in geoscience classrooms.

Grounded in educational psychology research and a self-regulated learning theoretical framework, CLASS is a free, web-based assessment system that allows instructors to measure students’ metacognitive awareness via confidence judgements made while answering instructor-generated, content-based assessment questions (true/false, multiple choice, fill in the blank, select all that apply). In addition to traditional, performance-based results, CLASS communicates assessment results in relation to student confidence and two empirically-derived measures (calibration, bias) of the gap between student confidence and performance. Essentially, a student can identify if they are accurately predicting their performance and adjust their study strategies accordingly. Additionally, CLASS will be available with a suite of quizzes on topics appropriate for introductory geoscience courses that can be utilized immediately.

Through the various analyses and graphical representations of results, CLASS has the potential to provide instructors with a wealth of valuable information regarding teaching and learning processes that cannot be ascertained from traditional assessment techniques. For example, an instructor could identify a topic where students were less capable of predicting their performance and modify the lesson to provide additional activities to improve learning. When paired with conscientious course design and direct metacognitive instruction, CLASS will also serve as a potentially powerful tool for researching student metacognitive monitoring accuracy and self-regulation in the process of learning in geoscience courses.