Education research: current lunar phase question

Astronomy 210L, spring semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Students are assigned to read online articles on current astronomy events, and take a short current events quiz during the first 10 minutes of lab. (This motivates students to show up promptly to lab, as the time cut-off for the quiz is strictly enforced!)

The following question below is given on each weekly current events quiz:
What is the current phase of the moon? Clearly circle your answer below.

The results from the pre- and post-test questions follow below, along with the class-wise Hake gain. (Matched-pair Hake gains were not calculated for each student, as the same students may or may not have been present at both the first and last week of instruction.) As opposed to the post-instruction current events quiz which was given at the start of the last week of instruction, students were not able to study the current moon phase for the pre-instruction current events quiz given at the start of the first week of instruction.
Current moon phase question
Astronomy 210L spring semester 2012 sections 30678, 30679, 30680
<initial%> = 11% (N = 64)
<final%> = 77% (N = 35)
<g> = 0.74 (class-wise)

As per the ACCJC (Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges), results from this direct assessment tool, along with the indirect assessment Astronomy Laboratory Learning Survey (ALLS) tool will be used for course/program improvement in future semesters.

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