Assessing Learning Outcomes Related to Geospatial Science Using Students’ Deliverables

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Articles and Special Issues
Carr, J. D., Cheshire, H. M., Bailey, D. J., Hess, G. R., Devine, H. A., & Adams, H. L. (2014). Assessing Learning Outcomes Related to Geospatial Science Using Students’ Deliverables. Natural Sciences Education, 43, 95-101.
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To equip undergraduates with needed background, instruction in geospatial science was integrated across curricula and courses in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University. The effectiveness of the integration was unknown; therefore, we developed a framework to assess learning outcomes related to geospatial science. Faculty and program administrators in the department participated in structured interviews designed to identify learning conditions they perceived as successful. Content analysis of interview data revealed faculty’s intended learning outcomes, where they believed evidence of learning could be observed or measured, and their criteria for success. These data provided a basis for development of assessment methods, which included rubrics, tracking questions, pre- and post-tests, and longitudinal surveys. Herein, we describe how we used taxonomies of educational objectives and students’ deliverables to assess learning outcomes related to geospatial science. We believe the assessment of students’ deliverables revealed differences in outcomes attainment among degree programs. For example, assessments show forestry seniors met skills-based, information literacy, and conceptual knowledge learning outcomes in their understanding of capstone management plans, whereas natural resources seniors demonstrated affective outcomes by voluntarily adopting to use the tools in their capstone management plans. We believe assessments based on students’ deliverables allowed us to draw inferences about our students and their learning styles. However, due to the changing nature of assignments and deliverables, and concern for the consistent application of the rubrics over time, we intend to rely on pre- and post-test assessments and longitudinal surveys moving forward.

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This page last updated 19 May 2019 - 2:46pm