GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 83-9
Presentation Time: 10:10 AM


WARD, Emily M. Geraghty, Geology Program, Rocky Mountain College, 1511 Poly Drive, Billings, MT 59102, SEMKEN, Steven, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, PO Box 871404, Tempe, AZ 85287-1404 and LIBARKIN, Julie C., Geocognition Research Laboratory, Michigan State University, 207 Natural Science, East Lansing, MI 48824

Advocates for place-based education highlight its ability to engage a variety of students in the geosciences. Research studies on place-based education indicate that students have positive changes in behavior and feelings about the landscape after engaging in place-based experiences, but documenting change to conceptual understanding in place-based education is still an open area for research. Traditional concept inventories have been widely used in the geosciences to assess changes in students’ conceptual understanding; however, we argue that these standardized instruments lack validity to assess highly contextualized material present in place-based courses and that new items are required that align with the attributes of each place. This talk will review the sociocultural and situated theoretical frameworks that underpin this argument, as well as the reasoning behind the mixed-methods approaches selected for developing a place-based assessment instrument to measure conceptual change in the context of two distinct, naturally and culturally diverse places: the northern Rockies and the desert Southwest. While the emphasis of this talk will be on assessment validity, the talk will also preview a research design for evaluating reliability of the new place-based items as part of the future work for this study.