1. Jason Jones
  3. North Carolina State University
  1. David McConnell
  3. North Carolina State University

Recalibrating Student Learning in the Geosciences

NSF Awards: 1712339

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)


Undergraduate students in STEM courses often do not recognize where gaps in their understanding exist nor how to best fill them. Towards this end, we have developed the Confidence-based Learning Accuracy Support System (CLASS), a web-based tool that allows instructors of any discipline to measure students’ metacognitive awareness via confidence judgements on content-based assessment questions. CLASS is grounded in the findings of educational psychology research and has potential benefits for both students and instructors. For the student, CLASS has the appearance of an online quizzing program in which students also estimate their confidence in the accuracy of each of their answers. CLASS then immediately determines their score, communicates results in relation to their confidence, and the gap between their confidence and their performance. This communication makes what was once nebulous and approximate very defined and quantitative for the student, giving them valuable and instantaneous feedback on not only their level of knowledge, but the accuracy of their perceptions. For the instructor, CLASS provides numerical and graphical summaries of students’ performance and confidence relating to specific content areas of the course in which it is applied. CLASS can be used as a formative assessment tool to provide instructors with a wealth of information regarding course teaching and learning processes (e.g., what content students are overconfident or underconfident about) that cannot be ascertained from traditional assessment methods.

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