Identifying Landscapes and their Formation Timescales: Comparing Knowledge and Confidence of Beginner and Advanced Geoscience Undergraduate Students Jolley, Alison Rae
The Landscape Identification and Formation Test (LIFT) was created in response to previous data from the Student Attitudes about Earth Science Survey (SAESS) at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver). The SAESS data suggested that upper-level students become less confident in landscape identification and formation timescales over the course of a term. The LIFT specifically probes the relationships among student confidence and knowledge in landscape identification and formation timescales and general knowledge in geologic time. The LIFT was validated with “think-aloud” interviews with students and correct answers were determined from interviews with experts. Results from the LIFT suggest that advanced students have higher conceptual knowledge, higher confidence in their knowledge, and are more self-aware than beginner students. Advanced students became more confident in landscape identification and formation timescales over the course of the term, contradicting the results seen in the previous administration of the SAESS. Students are better at identifying landscapes than assessing how long they take to form and are better with extreme timescales, two critical points that should be taken into consideration with future curricular reform.
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