Conceptests are higher-order multiple-choice questions that focus on one key concept of an instructor's major learning goals for a lesson. When coupled with student interaction through peer instruction, conceptests represent a rapid method of formative assessment of student understanding, require minimal changes to the instructional environment and introduce many of the recognized principles of effective teaching that enhance student learning. In this study, instructors from several different institutions developed over 300 conceptests for the geosciences. These instructors then used this suite of concept questions in a wide range of classroom settings, including large introductory general education Earth Science courses for non-majors at open enrollment institutions, smaller physical geology classes suitable for majors at private colleges, and in introductory geology laboratory settings. Results of pre- and post-class Geoscience Concept Inventory (GCI) testing and qualitative feedback from students and instructors showed that conceptests increased attendance, improved student satisfaction, and enhanced student achievement. Participating instructors found implementation of conceptests into their classes straightforward and required less than 30 minutes of preparation per class. The conceptest question database is available on-line for geoscience instructors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)