Does Structured Quizzing with Process Specific Feedback Lead to Learning Gains in an Active Learning Geoscience Classroom? Conference Paper uri icon


  • There is a great realization that efficient teaching in the geosciences has the potential to have far reaching effects in outreach to decision and policy makers (Herbert, 2006; Manduca & Mogk, 2006). This research in turn informs educators that the geosciences by the virtue of their highly integrative nature play an important role in serving as an entry point into STEM disciplines and helping developing a new cadre of geoscientists, scientists and a general population with an understanding of science. Keeping these goals in mind we set to design introductory geoscience courses for non-majors and majors that move away from the traditional lecture models which don't necessarily contribute well to knowledge building and retention ((Handelsman et al., 2007; Hake, 1997) to a blended active learning classroom where basic concepts and didactic information is acquired online via webquests, lecturettes and virtual field trips and the face to face portions of the class are focused on problem solving exercises. The traditional way to ensure that students are prepared for the in-class activity is to have the students take a quiz online to demonstrate basic competency. In the process of redesign, we decided to leverage the technology to build quizzes that are highly structured and map to a process (formation of divergent boundaries for example) or sets of earth processes that we needed the students to know before in-class activities. The quizzes can be taken multiple times and provide process specific feedback, thus serving as a heuristic to the students to ensure they have acquired the necessary competency. The heuristic quizzes were developed and deployed over a year with the student data driving the redesign process to ensure synchronicity. Preliminary data analysis indicates a positive correlation between higher student scores on in-class application exercises and time spent on the process quizzes. An assessment of learning gains also indicate a higher degree of self efficacy among students who took the quizzes multiple times vs. the students who took the quizzes just enough times to ensure a passing grade.

published proceedings

  • AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts

author list (cited authors)

  • Palsole, S., & Serpa, L. F

complete list of authors

  • Palsole, S||Serpa, LF

publication date

  • December 2013