Astronomy Concept Inventories: Diagnosing Our Own Instruction
Revisiting our CAE Teaching Excellence Workshops
Brissenden; Univ. of Arizona
Assessment drives student learning, and it should drive our instruction (Brissenden et al, 2002). In physics, the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) has been used by instructors for quite some time to assess the effectiveness of their physics instruction. Up until recently, the Astronomy Diagnostic Test (ADT) has been the only similar type of test instructors of introductory astronomy have had at their disposal Bardar et al, 2005. This month, the NASA Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) would like to introduce you to this, and four additional, diagnostic tests. Our challenge to you? Look over all the diagnostics tests, choose one that reflects a focus of your instruction, and give it to your students at the beginning and end of your fall course. Use your results to reflect on your instruction and to inform your instruction for spring.
Astronomy Concept Inventories
- Astronomy Diagnostic Test 2.0 (ADT 2.0). (http://solar.physics.montana.edu/aae/adt/). The ADT 2.0 is a 33 item multiple-choice test (21 content items; 12 demographic items) that covers content commonly found in the K-12 curriculum. It includes seasons, lunar phases, motions in the sky, and size and scale.
- Greenhouse Effect Concept Inventory (GHCI). (Contact author directly: John Keller, Univ. of Arizona) The GHECI is a 26 item multiple-choice test (20 content items; 6 demographic items) that covers the natural processes of the greenhouse effect and its relationship to global warming.
- Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory (LSCI). (Contact author directly: Erin Bardar, Boston Univ.) The LSCI is a 30 item multiple-choice test (28 content items; 2 demographic items) that covers the electromagnetic spectrum, Wien's, Kirchhoff's and Stefan-Boltzmann's Laws, and Doppler shift.
- Star Properties Concept Inventory (SPCI). (Contact author directly: Janelle Bailey, Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas) The SPCI is a 25 item multiple-choice test (23 content items; 2 demographic items) that covers temperature, luminosity, mass, formation, and fusion.
Bardar (Weeks), E. M., Prather, E., Brecher, K., & Slater, T. (2005). The need for a light and spectroscopy concept inventory for assessing innovations in introductory astronomy survey courses. Astronomy Education Review 4(2). Retrievable from http://aer.noao.edu
Brissenden, G., Slater, T. F., & Mathieu, R. (2002). The role of assessment in the development of the college introductory astronomy course: A "how-to" guide for instructors. Astronomy Education Review 1(1). Retrievable from http://aer.noao.edu