Chem Connections

Assessment of Student Learning Gains

For use as a supplement to, or replacement of, institutional student classroom evaluations.

The format of this instrument is intended to elicit students’ estimates of how much they gained from the class, and to relate their gains to particular aspects of the class pedagogy. It aims to take the focus off the teacher, per se, and avoids critiques of pedagogy that are not directly related to student estimations of what they gained.

Faculty should add specific elements of this class for which they seek feedback, but, in each case, should frame each question so that it asks students what they felt that they gained—whether in understanding, skills, attitudes, approach to learning or to the discipline. I have marked (*) the places in the format where you might want to ask about specific items. You may also want to delete line items that do not apply, or in order to shorten the instrument overall. You could also use some/all of the questions for feedback at mid-term.

This instrument was written as part of a wider attempt to meet the need for improved classroom assessment tools. Its particular focus (on what students gained from the class) arises from a strong finding from our student interviews on ten campuses. We found that asking students what they "liked" or "valued" about their classes, or how they evaluated their teachers was far less productive than asking them what they had specifically gained. It is our hypothesis that students can meaningfully answer questions about their own gains, whereas what they "like," and how they judge faculty in their role as teachers is much less reliable. This proposition is supported by faculty interview data in which faculty express mistrust of the numeric data (if not the written comments) provided by many institutional classroom evaluations.

If you choose to use some/all of this format to supplement or replace your usual student evaluation instrument, we would like to know how well it works. Does it give you the kinds of feedback on student learning that you want? We would like as much field-testing and feedback as possible so that we can improve the instrument. We recently added the last question (5B) at the request of existing users. The instrument only works if it's useful to you.

ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT LEARNING GAINS

Instructions to students: Check one box for each question on each scale: NA=Not Applicable, 1= lowest rating, 5=highest rating. You may add a comment for any item on the last sheet. Number your comments by the same numbers as the items in the questionnaire.

Q1. HOW MUCH did each of the following aspects of the class HELP YOUR

LEARNING?

 

 

NA

Was of no help

Helped a little

Helped

Helped a good deal

Helped a great deal

A.

The class's focus on answering real world questions

NA

1

2

3

4

5

B.

How the class activities, labs, reading, and assignments fitted together

NA

1

2

3

4

5

C.

The pace at which we worked

NA

1

2

3

4

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D.

The class and lab activities:

NA

 

 

 

 

 

1.

class presentations (incl.lectures)

NA

1

2

3

4

5

2.

discussions in class

NA

1

2

3

4

5

3.

group work in class

NA

1

2

3

4

5

4.

hands-on class activities

NA

1

2

3

4

5

5.

understanding why we were doing each activity/lab

NA

1

2

3

4

5

6.

written lab instructions

NA

1

2

3

4

5

7.

lab organization

NA

1

2

3

4

5

8.

teamwork in labs

NA

1

2

3

4

5

9.

lab reports

NA

1

2

3

4

5

*10.

specific class activities (list)

NA

1

2

3

4

5

*11.

specific labs/activities (list)

NA

1

2

3

4

5

*12.

specific lab assignments (list)

NA

1

2

3

4

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E.

Tests, graded activities and assignments:

NA

 

 

 

 

 

1.

opportunities for in-class review

NA

1

2

3

4

5

2.

the number and spacing of tests/assignments

NA

1

2

3

4

5

3.

the fairness of test content

NA

1

2

3

4

5

4.

the mental stretch required of us

NA

1

2

3

4

5

5.

the grading system used

NA

1

2

3

4

5

6.

the feedback we got

NA

1

2

3

4

5

(Please continue on to Q1 F. on the next page)

Q1. (continued) HOW MUCH did each of the following aspects of the class HELP YOUR

LEARNING?

 

 

NA

Was of no help

Helped a little

Helped

Helped a good deal

Helped a great deal

F.

Resources:

NA

 

 

 

 

 

1.

the module student manual(s)

NA

1

2

3

4

5

2.

the text

NA

1

2

3

4

5

3.

other reading materials

NA

1

2

3

4

5

4.

the use made of the Web in this class

NA

1

2

3

4

5

* 5.

other technical resources (teacher: write in)

NA

1

2

3

4

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

G.

The information we were given about:

NA

Was of no help

Helped a little

Helped

Helped a good deal

Helped a great deal

1.

class activities for each week

NA

1

2

3

4

5

2.

how parts of the classwork, labs, reading, or assignments related to each other

NA

1

2

3

4

5

*3.

specific class assignments (TEACHER: WRITE IN)

NA

1

2

3

4

5

4.

the grading system for the class

NA

1

2

3

4

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H.

Individual support as a learner:

NA

Was of no help

Helped a little

Helped

Helped a good deal

Helped a great deal

1.

the quality of contact with the teacher

NA

1

2

3

4

5

2.

the quality of contact with TAs (as relevant)

NA

1

2

3

4

5

3.

working with peers outside of class

NA

1

2

3

4

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

K.

The way that this class was taught overall

NA

Was of no help

Helped a little

Helped

Helped a good deal

Helped a great deal

 

 

NA

1

2

3

4

5

(Please continue on to Q2. on the next page.)

Q2. As a result of your work in this class, how well do you think that you now UNDERSTAND each of the following?

*List concepts or other important material that you most want the student to understand

 

 

NA

Not at all

Just a little

Somewhat

A lot

A great deal

1.

(TEACHER: WRITE IN)

NA

1

2

3

4

5

2.

 

NA

1

2

3

4

5

3.

 

NA

1

2

3

4

5

Etc.

 

NA

1

2

3

4

5

Q3. How much has this class ADDED TO YOUR SKILLS in each of the following?

 

NA

Nothing

Just a little

Somewhat

A lot

A great deal

1.

solving problems

NA

1

2

3

4

5

2.

writing papers

NA

1

2

3

4

5

3.

designing lab experiments

NA

1

2

3

4

5

4.

finding trends in data

NA

1

2

3

4

5

5.

critically reviewing articles

NA

1

2

3

4

5

6.

working effectively with others

NA

1

2

3

4

5

7.

giving oral presentations

NA

1

2

3

4

5

*

(Teachers: add any others)

NA

1

2

3

4

5

Q4. To what extent did you MAKE GAINS in any of the following as a result of what you did in this class?

 

 

NA

Not at all

Just a little

Somewhat

A lot

A great deal

1.

understanding the main concepts

NA

1

2

3

4

5

2.

understanding the relationship between concepts

NA

1

2

3

4

5

3.

understanding how ideas in this class relate to those in other chemistry, science, or math classes

NA

1

2

3

4

5

4.

understanding the relevance of chemistry to real world issues

NA

1

2

3

4

5

5.

understanding the nature of chemistry

NA

1

2

3

4

5

6.

appreciating the methods of chemistry

NA

1

2

3

4

5

7.

ability to think through a problem or argument

NA

1

2

3

4

5

(Please continue on to Q4. 8. On the next page)

Q4. (continued) To what extent did you MAKE GAINS in any of the following as a result of what you did in this class?

 

 

NA

Not at all

Just a little

Somewhat

A lot

A great deal

8.

confidence in your ability to do chemistry

NA

1

2

3

4

5

9.

feeling comfortable with complex ideas

NA

1

2

3

4

5

10.

enthusiasm for chemistry

NA

1

2

3

4

5

*

(Teachers: add any others)

NA

1

2

3

4

5

Q5A. How much of what you learned in this class (i.e., knowledge, skills, and other gains) do you think you will REMEMBER, and CARRY WITH YOU into other classes or other aspects of your life?

 

NA

Nothing

Just a little

A moderate amount

A lot

A great deal

1.

understanding the main concepts

NA

1

2

3

4

5

*

(Teachers: add any others)

NA

1

2

3

4

5

 

Q5B. How well did your (modular)** learning experiences in (WRITE IN course name and number) prepare you for the work you have recently done in (WRITE IN course name and number)?

 

NA

Not at all

Just a little

A moderate amount

A lot

A great deal

1.

understanding the main concepts

NA

1

2

3

4

5

*

(Teachers: add any others)

NA

1

2

3

4

5

**Note to faculty: If the prior class in a sequence of classes contained one or more modules (or other special features) insert "modular" (or other appropriate term). If not, leave out.

Note to Students: ADD YOUR OWN COMMENTS below. If they are tied to a particular question, use the same number/letter as the question to which they apply.

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Last modified: 9/28/00 at 1:45 PM