Measures of student learning
Direct measures of student learning capture the knowledge/skills/attitudes of the student cohort, enabling evaluation of student performance, either against a defined benchmark or through changes over time
Direct measures of student learning capture the knowledge/skills/ attitudes of the student cohort, enabling evaluation of student performance, either against a defined benchmark or through changes over time
Concept tests, such as the Force Concept Inventory (Hestenes and Halloun, 1995) – available from Mazur (1997) – are widely used in engineering and physics schools across the world to evaluate students’ conceptual understanding. Sample concept tests related to a wide range of science, engineering and mathematics topics are available from:
- The Assessment Instruments Information Page, hosted by Professor Robert Beichner at North Carolina State
Direct measures of learning at a single point in time
- student performance in institutional examinations and assignments can be used, in particular, to demonstrate the positive impact of pedagogical or curricular change as part of a promotion case;
- products/outputs of a course or programme delivered by students, such as final-year projects, conceptual maps or oral exams;
- student performance in standardised tests, capturing both generic learning outcomes through tools such as the Collegiate Learning Assessment (Klein et al., 2007) or capturing discipline-specific capabilities through tools such as AHELO (OECD, 2009). Although such tools are primarily designed for comparisons between institutions and countries, such data could also be disaggregated by programme to support a candidate’s case for promotion.
A wide range of evidence sources was used to demonstrate Dr Forest’s institutional impact and influence in teaching and learning, including:
- Professional activities: the educational portion of the promotion case centred on a description of three activities: (i) the co-foundation of the ‘InVenture Prize’, a university invention competition, (ii) the establishment of the ‘Invention Studio’, an open-access space for student creativity, innovation and design, and (iii) the redesign of an engineering capstone design course.
- Peer assessments: including national press coverage of the educational activities developed by Dr Forest, a peer-reviewed pedagogical publication and details of the funds raised for the establishment of the ‘Invention Studio’.
- Indirect measures of student learning: including estimates of the number of companies founded by students engaged in the entrepreneurial and innovation activities established by Dr Forest.
- Direct measures of student learning: including an evaluation of the quality of student projects from the multi-disciplinary final year design course established by Dr Forest, as described below.