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ERIC Number: EJ1164357
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
SPESS: A New Instrument for Measuring Student Perceptions in Earth and Ocean Science
Jolley, Allison; Lane, Erin; Kennedy, Ben; Frappé-Sénéclauze, Tom-Pierre
Journal of Geoscience Education, v60 n1 p83-91 Feb 2012
This paper discusses the development and results of a new tool used for measuring shifts in students' perceptions of earth and ocean sciences called the Student Perceptions about Earth Sciences Survey (SPESS). The survey measures where students lie on the novice--expert continuum, and how their perceptions change after taking one or more earth and ocean science course(s). The survey is composed of 29 statements that have been validated with expert responses and student interviews. Factor analysis was used to group statements into seven categories, which provide instructors with valuable information to guide pedagogical change in their classes. Overall student perceptions in earth and ocean sciences show little change over the course of the term, in contrast to novice shifts in perceptions seen in other science disciplines. Students in earth and ocean sciences also do not display any gender differences, unlike those seen in these other disciplines. However, differences are seen between face-to-face and distance education versions of a course, between earth and ocean science majors and nonmajors, and between a community college and a large research institution. The former of each pair are more expert-like.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A