Current Research
Assessing What Really Matters in Science Education

The goal of the proposed work is to provide a methodology and tools to begin to answer at a variety of different levels and disciplines, how well prepared students are to:

  1. Transfer their knowledge into novel discipline-specific circumstances
  2. Learn and use relevant new information 

In the process, we will also develop a general design template for others to use in creating such assessment tools of flexible expertise. Then we will use those tests to begin to examine how different forms of instruction impact the ability of the student in both of these areas, on both short (within term or in adjacent terms of school) and long (through undergraduate into post-graduate education) time scales.

This work will be led by Carl Wieman who has worked extensively in science education research across multiple science and engineering departments, with a particular focus on the nature of disciplinary expertise and how it is best learned, taught, and assessed. This will be a collaborative effort with Professor Daniel Schwartz, who is a leading cognitive psychologist who has pioneered the thinking and research on preparation for future learning. They will be joined by an interdisciplinary team assembled for this project composed of higher education researchers, data analytics experts, and faculty in medicine and the science disciplines of interest to provide necessary disciplinary expertise.

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