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Affecting U.S. education through assessment : new tools to discover student understanding

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dc.contributor.advisor Steven Lerman. en_US
dc.contributor.author Vendlinski, Terry P. (Terry Paul), 1957- en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Technology, Management, and Policy Program. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2005-08-23T21:32:51Z
dc.date.available 2005-08-23T21:32:51Z
dc.date.copyright 2001 en_US
dc.date.issued 2001 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/8592
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, Technology, Management, and Policy Program, 2001. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 173-183). en_US
dc.description.abstract We may have a serious problem with education in the United States. However, the literature suggests one can arrive at differing conclusions about the efficacy of the American educational system depending on what we measure, how we measure it, when we decide to measure, and why we measure. As will be shown, many testing methods currently in vogue in the United States generate data that can lead policy makers, parents, educators, and even students to arrive at invalid conclusions about schools; teachers, and student ability, especially when evaluating the ability of a student to apply (versus just know) concepts. It was hypothesized that, if applied in a manner aligned with accepted validity standards, modern computer technology could both dramatically improve the accuracy of our inferences, and provide significant new insights into student learning and understanding given present national and California state standards. As a "proof of concept", a quasi-experimental, interrupted time series study was conducted using a computerized learning and assessment tool to observe second semester high school chemistry students solving qualitative chemistry problems. The results presented here suggest that: -- Without intervention, once a student chooses a strategy to solve a problem, the student will continue to use the same type of strategy (in both the near- and long-term), whether or not that strategy has proven effective. These findings imply we now have the opportunity to both diagnose ineffective strategies as they are developing, and tailor interventions to individual student needs. -- Because technology allows us to look both at a student's answer and how s)he arrived at that answer, we conclude that we can accurately infer whether a student really understands the concepts of a particular knowledge domain. Our findings suggest that, if properly employed, technology can offer new, real-time insights into student understanding. The paper concludes by discussing the applicability of this research to other knowledge domains, some avenues of future research, and particular pedagogical interventions which the results suggest might be most promising. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Terry P. Vendlinski. en_US
dc.format.extent 183 p. en_US
dc.format.extent 22483407 bytes
dc.format.extent 22483166 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582
dc.subject Technology, Management, and Policy Program. en_US
dc.title Affecting U.S. education through assessment : new tools to discover student understanding en_US
dc.title.alternative Affecting United States education through assessment : new tools to discover student understanding en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Technology, Management, and Policy Program. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 49280031 en_US


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