ERIC Number: ED428277
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-May-28
Cognitive Level of Academic Challenges Provided to College Students.
Whittington, M. Susie; McCormick, David F.
A study assessed the cognitive level of academic challenges incorporated into courses offered in the College of Agricultural Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University. Eleven faculty members from nine departments provided copies of all academic challenges used in their courses. They were categorized by type: activities, problem sets, written reports, presentations, laboratory tests, quizzes, midterms, and finals. A number corresponding to one of the six levels of Bloom's taxonomy (knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation) was assigned to each individual task, question, problem, or action. The value of the academic challenge to students' course grade was calculated based on the grade weighting information provided in each course's syllabus. Findings indicated that the mean cognitive distribution for all the courses' academic challenges was fairly even across the six cognitive levels with an emphasis on the higher cognitive levels. On average, 31.4 percent of the student's grade came from work at the lower cognitive levels and 66.6 from work at the higher levels. Individual presentations, quizzes, midterm exams, and final exams tended to provide lower cognitive challenges for students. Generally, students were rewarded more for completing academic challenges written at the higher cognitive levels and less for lower cognitive work. (Contains 12 references) (YLB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Vocational Education Research Association (New Orleans, LA, December 11, 1998).