Assessment of Large General Education Astronomy Classes
We present results for a decade-long assessment program for an introductory course for non-science majors. This study focuses on student evaluation data and student-supplied information about sex, race, age, academic background, student study time, study habits, and course grade. The results reveal a statistically significant positive relationship between the student evaluation means and grade inflation, and negative relationships between student evaluation means and student study time and between student evaluation means and previous course performance in chemistry and physics. The positive relationship between student evaluations and grade inflation was not surprising. However, the negative relationship between student evaluation means and previous course performance in chemistry and physics was unexpected. Course grades are significantly positively related with estimated grade point average (GPA) and previous course performance in chemistry and physics, and negatively correlated with student study time. Positive associations between course grades and GPA and previous course performance in chemistry and physics were expected. The negative relationship between course grades and study time was unexpected, but reports of similar results have been found in the literature. Course grades of male students were significantly higher than those of female students. We discuss the implications of these results for personnel and program evaluation.
Robertson, T. H., & Finch, W. H. 2005, Astronomy Education Review, 4(2), p.28–53