Results of a National Survey On College Chemistry Faculty Beliefs and Attitudes of Assessment-of-Student-Learning Practices

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Educational Research and Administration




Why is assessment of student learning important? The National Science Education Standards chapter on Assessment in Science Education states that assessment is “primary feedback” [1]. Assessment of learning supplies instructors with feedback on how well their students are learning course material, and students are provided information about how well they are meeting teachers’ expectations. Assessment of learning is useful for communicating the expectations of an educational program. Communication helps instructors know what to teach, how to teach, and where to find the material to teach. Assessment of student learning can also be used for program planning and improvement. For example, placement tests can be used as advising tools. Student work, in the form of portfolios, might serve as partial evidence of the quality of an undergraduate chemistry program. In summary, assessment of learning can provide information to:

  • Students, about the extent of their learning and possibilities for success in future courses.

  • Faculty, about the extent to which their teaching practices are facilitating student learning, and how they might make modifications to those practices.

  • Administrators and other stakeholders, about course articulation, program effectiveness, and what students are able to do as they complete a program.

  • A comprehensive literature review about assessing learning in K-12 science education has examined assessment of learning techniques as well as policy-related issues [2].

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The Chemical Educator



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