Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing

Plan to Assess Our Learners

The assessment subcommittee seeks to assess the effectiveness of the activities of the Software Carpentry Foundation (SCF). It met a few weeks ago and drafted an action plan on how to move forward to create a series of assessments for our learners. This action plan will be the basis on how further assessment tools will be developed.

We've created a repository and opened a few issues to get the ball rolling for discussion. The goal is to brainstorm a list of questions we want to ask our learners with respect to:

  • attitude/opinions/mindsets,
  • facts/declarative knowledge, and
  • actual, testable skills.

This will be an iterative process where the rest of the assessment committee (and anyone else who is interested) will add any number of questions that would be useful to assess our learners. We will then refine the questions over a series of workshops and test for validity and reliability.

Please head over to the meeting notes, where we have a section on "Advice for writing questions".

In addition to community input on potential questions we are also seeking feedback on how best to organize the issue board for discussion as more assessments are being developed. We are considering using issue tags and/or naming conventions, since it seems like the first logical step, but are open to critiques. The goal is to use the summer workshops to refine the first assessment questionnaire so we can start collecting data by the Fall.

Dialogue & Discussion

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