Registration Details

This half-day workshop is part of the GSA Short Course 4-Pack. For $45, select any two workshops from the four (add 511A or 511D). Early registration ends on October 1. To sign up for a workshop, use the GSA meeting registration.

511C. Making the Invisible Visible: Assessing Higher Order Thinking in your Students

Co-sponsored by NAGT and the Geoscience Education Division of GSA 

November 3, 2012 - 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Room 904
Part of the GSA Short Course 4-Pack

Convener: Bruce Herbert, Texas A&M University

Workshop description

This workshop will explore assessment of student learning through a backwards design framework championed by Wiggins and McTighe. The workshop will provide concrete examples of specific assessment techniques that can provide insight on student skill development towards general higher order thinking skills as well as disciplinary expertise. These techniques can be used to inform your day-to-day teaching practice, future course design, or help meet accountability programs on your campus. Participants will have an opportunity to collectively develop assessment strategies for their own classes.

The workshop covers important topics that guide the design and implementation of effective assessment of student learning, including the relationship between assessment and the nature of learning, learning goals, instructional design using the backwards design model, and supporting your career through the scholarship of teaching & learning.

Before you go

Think about the methods you use to assess student learning in your own courses or programs, what is going well and what could be improved?

Workshop program materials


Exemplary assessment papers


Shepard, L.A. 2000. The Role of Assessment in a Learning Culture . Educational Researcher, Vol. 29, No. 7, pp. 4-14

Linn, R. L., Baker, E. L., and Dunbar, S. B., 1991, Complex, performance-based assessment: Expectations and validation criteria: Educational Researcher, v. 20, no. 8, p. 15-21.

Barr, R. B., and Tagg, J., 1995, From teaching to learning--a new paradigm for undergraduate education: Change, v. 27, no. 6, p. 12-26.

Libarkin, J. C., and Anderson, S. W., 2005, Assessment of Learning in Entry-Level Geoscience Courses: Results from the Geoscience Concept Inventory: Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 53, no. 4, p. 394-401.

Sell, K., Herbert, B. E., Stussey, C. L., and Schielack, J., 2006, Supporting Student Conceptual Model Development of Complex Earth Systems Through the Use of Multiple Representations and Inquiry: J. Geol. Ed., v. 54, p. 396-407.

McConnell, D. A., Steer, D.N. and Owens, K.A., 2003, Assessment and Active Learning Strategies for Introductory Geology Courses: Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 51, no. 2, p. 205-216.

Pellegrino, J., J. Chudowsky. & R. Glaser, 2001, Knowing what student know: The science and design of educational assessment: Washington, DC, National Academy Press.

Bransford, J. D., Brown, A., and Cocking, R. R., 2000, How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. Expanded Ed.: Washington, D.C., National Academy Press, pp. 374.