Development Of The EGGS Exam Of GeoloGy Standards To Measure Students’ Understanding Of Common Geology Concepts

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Sarah Katie Guffey
Timothy F. Slater
Stephanie J. Slater


Geoscience Education Research, Geocognition, Assessment


Geoscience education researchers have considerable need for criterion-referenced, easy-to-administer, easy-to-score, conceptual surveys for undergraduates taking introductory science survey courses in order for faculty to monitor the learning impacts of innovative teaching. In response, this study establishes the reliability and validity of a 28-item, multiple-choice, pre- and post- EGGS Exam of GeoloGy Standards. EGGS addresses 11 concepts derived from a systematic analysis of the overlapping ideas from national science education reforms: NGSS, AAAS Benchmarks, Earth Science Literacy Principles, and NRC National Science Education Standards.  Leveraging best-practices for creating and field-testing items, EGGS emphasizes natural student language over technical scientific vocabulary, leverages illustrations over students’ reading ability, specifically targets students’ misconceptions, and covers the range of topics most geology educators expect general education students to know. EGGS is argued to be valid and reliable with college introductory science survey students based on standard measures, including clinical interviews with students and expert review.


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