The Center for Faculty Development’s Fabulous Friday series showcases various research, teaching and service opportunities that might offer faculty some new ideas or help them connect with programs of interest. Short presentations and a Q-and-A period will be followed with time for socializing.

Dr. Tom Hickson

Dr. Tom Hickson

The next Fabulous Friday presents Dr. Tom Hickson on Nov. 4. Hickson is a geology professor and director of the Environmental Science Program. He will share his work with knowledge surveys as tools to assess student learning.

This talk will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Room 102, O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center, on the St. Paul campus, and simulcast to Room 419, Opus Hall, on the Minneapolis campus; faculty can attend either location.

Registration is requested. To register, click here.

Hickson will describe how knowledge surveys can be used to gauge students’ perceptions of what they actually learned in a class and to help students develop metacognition about their learning. Knowledge surveys consist of a large number of questions covering the entire content in a course and are designed to capture different levels within the Bloom taxonomy, ranging from knowledge to comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

Students do not answer the questions in the survey, but instead indicate their perceived ability to answer them on a scale of one to three based on their confidence. Knowledge surveys are typically ungraded and are conducted at the beginning and end of a course. The difference in confidence level correlates well with actual student performance in the course. Knowledge surveys also can be used to critically evaluate the effectiveness of teaching on specific content topics with a fairly high degree of granularity.