Long-Term Assessment Strategy

Authors: Kari L. Jordan BLOG

With the help of our community we added skills-based questions to our surveys!

A fair amount of discussion around assessment took place during the Software and Data Carpentry Instructor and Helper Retreat. One of the recommendations that came out of this retreat was to include skills-based questions in our pre- and post-workshop surveys to improve the accuracy of our survey results. We know that our learners come to our workshops having varying knowledge levels for programming. A way that we can capture this information, and determine whether our workshops make a difference in learner’s ability to work with data, is to add skills-based questions to our surveys. With the help of our community, we have done just that.

On February 22nd we created an issue in both our R and Python for Ecology lesson repos asking community members to help us develop multiple choice questions (MCQ’s) for R and Python. These questions were to vary in difficulty and cover plotting, reading in data, summarizing dataframes, and performing basic mathematical calculations. Our community members contributed questions and answers to a document, and we met virtually on March 1st to discuss the questions, answers, and distractors.

We are now ready to launch our new pre- and post-workshop surveys. We’d like to say thank you to all of our community members who contributed to this process. Thanks to you, our surveys will launch in April!

Long-Term Assessment In an effort to gather what has transpired in our learner’s work and career since completing a Carpentry workshop, Software and Data Carpentry have launched a joint Long-Term Assessment Survey. Our staff and community members have developed a way to capture feedback from our learners about behaviors they’ve adopted since attending a Carpentry workshop, confidence in the tools covered in their workshop, and ways their work, research, and career may have been impacted. If you took a Carpentry workshop before December 2016 and would like to participate in our survey give us your feedback. You will have the opportunity to be entered in a drawing for a Carpentry swag bag! We are collecting data until April 4th.

As you can see, we value assessment and will continue to communicate our strategy with the community. Get involved with assessment by contacting Kari L. Jordan at Comment below, and tweet us your thoughts @datacarpentry and @drkariljordan.

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