Multiple roles of assessment in upper-division physics course reforms Documents

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Multiple roles of assessment in upper-division physics course reforms 

written by Steven J. Pollock, Rachel E. Pepper, Stephanie V. Chasteen, and Katherine K. Perkins

The University of Colorado at Boulder has been involved in a systematic program of upper-division undergraduate course transformations. The role of assessment has been critical at multiple, interconnected scales: (1) formative evaluation focused on the course itself in the design phase; (2) formative assessment focused on students in the instructional phase and (3) summative assessment to determine student performance and the success of course design. We summarize the role and nature of assessments at each of these levels. At the design scale, investigative measures include observations and surveys of students and student work. In the classroom, assessments to determine and address student difficulties include clicker questions and tutorials. At the summative scale, assessments include faculty interviews and course and tutorial-scale posttests. We discuss examples, affordances, outcomes, and challenges associated with these different layers of assessments at the upper-division level.

Published February 6, 2012
Last Modified April 25, 2012

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