Assessment and teaching of science skills: whole of programme perceptions of graduating students

Yvonne Maree Hodgson, Cristina Teresa Varsavsky, Kely Matthews

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25 Citations (Scopus)


This study reports on science student perceptions of their skills (scientific knowledge, oral communication, scientific writing, quantitative skills, teamwork and ethical thinking) as they approach graduation. The focus is on which teaching activities and assessment tasks over the whole programme of study students thought utilised each of the six nominated skills. In this quantitative study involving two Australian research-intensive universities, the teaching activities identified by students as developing the broadest number of skills were laboratory classes and tutorials. Lectures were only effective for developing scientific knowledge and, to a limited extent, ethical thinking. Assessment tasks that students perceived to utilise the broadest range of skills were assignments and oral presentations. The findings of this study document the students perspective about their gains in skill sets, and the teaching activities and assessment tasks that require them to use and thus develop these skills. The findings provide an opportunity to evaluate the constructive alignment of skills development, teaching activities and assessment tasks from a student s perspective. Further research is required to actually measure the skills that students gain over their whole programme of study. ? 2013 Taylor Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515 - 530
Number of pages16
JournalAssessment & Evaluation in Higher Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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