ERIC Number: EJ1106935
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Alternative Model for Administration and Analysis of Research-Based Assessments
Wilcox, Bethany R.; Zwickl, Benjamin M.; Hobbs, Robert D.; Aiken, John M.; Welch, Nathan M.; Lewandowski, H. J.
Physical Review Physics Education Research, v12 n1 p010139-1-010139-8 Jan-Jun 2016
Research-based assessments represent a valuable tool for both instructors and researchers interested in improving undergraduate physics education. However, the historical model for disseminating and propagating conceptual and attitudinal assessments developed by the physics education research (PER) community has not resulted in widespread adoption of these assessments within the broader community of physics instructors. Within this historical model, assessment developers create high quality, validated assessments, make them available for a wide range of instructors to use, and provide minimal (if any) support to assist with administration or analysis of the results. Here, we present and discuss an alternative model for assessment dissemination, which is characterized by centralized data collection and analysis. This model provides a greater degree of support for both researchers and instructors in order to more explicitly support adoption of research-based assessments. Specifically, we describe our experiences developing a centralized, automated system for an attitudinal assessment we previously created to examine students' epistemologies and expectations about experimental physics. This system provides a proof of concept that we use to discuss the advantages associated with centralized administration and data collection for research-based assessments in PER. We also discuss the challenges that we encountered while developing, maintaining, and automating this system. Ultimately, we argue that centralized administration and data collection for standardized assessments is a viable and potentially advantageous alternative to the default model characterized by decentralized administration and analysis. Moreover, with the help of online administration and automation, this model can support the long-term sustainability of centralized assessment systems.
Descriptors: Physics, Science Education, Science Instruction, Undergraduate Students, Educational Research, Science Teachers, Comparative Analysis, Student Surveys
American Physical Society. One Physics Ellipse 4th Floor, College Park, MD 20740-3844. Tel: 301-209-3200; Fax: 301-209-0865; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://prst-per.aps.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado (Boulder)
Grant or Contract Numbers: DUE1432204; PHY1125844