Assessing the Science Knowledge of University Students: Perils, Pitfalls and Possibilities

Susan M. Jones
2014 Journal of Learning Design  
Science content knowledge is internationally regarded as a fundamentally important learning outcome for graduates of bachelor level science degrees: the Science Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs) recently adopted in Australia as a nationally agreed framework include "Science Knowledge" as TLO 2. Science knowledge is commonly assessed using traditional examinations, tests and/or quizzes, but such forms of assessment can be problematic. A key contributing issue is the emphasis on "content" in
more » ... science curricula. Frequently, a focus on transmission of knowledge is mirrored in an over-reliance on traditional ways of teaching and an overdependence upon summative assessment: students respond by relying on rote learning at the expense of developing a deep understanding of science concepts. The challenge is, therefore, to design teaching approaches that foster active learning, and, critically, to match these with rigorously designed and meaningful assessment tasks that support higher level learning of science knowledge.
doi:10.5204/jld.v7i2.210 fatcat:2ojf2lxv5relvavruygoajp3ju