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Rice University's Inaugural Treybig Teaching and Innovation Lecture

Michelle K. Smith
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
C. Ann Merrifield Professorship in Life Science Education
University of Maine

"What Are My Students Thinking? Using Multiple Modes of Assessment to Identify and Improve Student Conceptual Understanding"

Instructors and the teaching practices they employ play a critical role in improving student learning in college Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses.  Consequently, there is increasing interest in assessing student content knowledge at multiple points throughout the undergraduate curriculum.  To help facilitate this process, I will present the development of a new tool: Ecology and Evolution Measuring Achievement and Progression in Science (EcoEvo-MAPS), which is a comprehensive content assessment taken by first-year and graduating undergraduate students.  I will also discuss how student data collected from this tool has inspired groups of faculty from multiple institutions to share de-identified student learning data with one another, collaboratively develop in-class active-learning instructional units, and create additional formative assessment opportunities to understand more about student thinking.