Education research: SATA results (Cuesta College, Fall Semester 2010)

Student attitudes were assessed using the Survey of Attitudes Towards Astronomy (SATA), a 34-question, five-point Likert scale questionnaire that measures four attitude subscales (Zeilik & Morris, 2003):
  • Affect (positive student attitudes towards astronomy and science);
  • Cognitive competence (students' self-assessment of their astronomy/science knowledge and skills);
  • Difficulty (reverse-coded such that high-difficulty corresponds to a rating of 1, low-difficulty assessment of astronomy/science corresponds to a rating of 5);
  • Value (students' assessment of the usefulness, relevance, and worth of astronomy/science in personal and professional life).
The SATA was administered as a pre-test on the first day of class, and as a post-test on the last day of class.
Cuesta College
Astronomy 210 Fall Semester 2010 sections 70158, 70160
(N = 80, matched pairs only,
excluding negative informed consent form responses)

Affect Cogn. Comp. Difficulty Value
Initial 3.8 +/- 0.6 3.7 +/- 0.5 3.9 +/- 0.5 2.7 +/- 0.4
Final 3.8 +/- 0.7 3.7 +/- 0.7 3.8 +/- 0.5 2.9 +/- 0.6
Little or no difference from pre- to post-instruction, and also comparable to six previous semesters' results. Plans for subsequent semesters is to replace the SATA with the Science Motivation Questionnaire (SMQ), a 30-question, five-point Likert scale questionnaire that measures six subscales (Glynn & Koballa, 2006):
  • Intrinsic motivation;
  • Extrinsic motivation;
  • Personal relevance;
  • Self-determination;
  • Self-efficacy;
  • Assessment anxiety.
References, and more detailed discussion on previous semesters' SATA results:

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