Can the Field School Be Improved? Lessons Learned through Education Research of an NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Carol Colaninno-Meeks, John H. Chick

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

For many undergraduate anthropology majors, participation in an archaeological field school is the entry point to a professional career in the discipline. Despite the importance of field schools, few scholars have investigated the learning outcomes students gain or lasting impacts, either negative or positive, from participation in field-based research. We report on the educational design, learning objectives, and results of two years of formative and summative assessments for an interdisciplinary, archaeology and ecology, research program. Our learning objectives include promoting scientific literacy and communication, critical thinking and STEM skills, and capacities in archaeological and ecological interdisciplinarity. Using developed rubrics that account for both critical thinking and STEM understanding, self-administered competency surveys, and items from the National Assessment of Education Progress and the American Association for Advancement of Science, we found significant gains in nearly all identified learning objectives. Students had growth in program specific content, STEM skills and discipline specific skills, STEM critical thinking skills, and scientific communication skills. We hope to expand upon these quantitative assessments to develop future qualitative research on student field school experiences.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationINDIVIDUAL ABSTRACTS OF THE SAA 84TH ANNUAL MEETING
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • INHS

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