In April The CELTUA blog premiered the results of the psychology pedagogy journal Teaching of Psychology‘s (http://teachpsych.org/top/) analysis of its most influential articles based on citations of the articles. In “ToP’s Greatest Hits: The Most Frequently Cited Teaching of Psychology Articles” (Volume 40, Number 2, 2013, pp. 76-87), authors Richard A. Griggs and Brian Collisson used citation counts for the articles appearing in the journal from its inception in 1974 through 2011 to compile top-20 lists for total citations and average citations per year. Their findings shed light on research trends in the teaching of psychology as well as college teaching in general. The fact that many of the articles cited are over a decade old attests to the continuing interest in these topics.
In this blog entry we look at the most-cited articles in the category of “Assessment.”
Two articles in this category are connected to the Teacher Behavior Checklist (TBC) developed by Buskist et al. (2002), an instrument for identifying “student and faculty perspectives on the qualities and corresponding behaviors of effective teachers” (p. 83):
Schaeffer, Epting, Zinn, & Buskist (2003): “Student and Faculty Perceptions of Effective Teaching: A Successful Replication” The authors surveyed students and faculty at a Midwestern community college using the TBC. Student and faculty rankings of the top-10 effective teacher behaviors were highly similar, replicating Buskist et al.’s (2002) earlier findings.
Keeley, Smith, & Buskist (2006): “The Teacher Behaviors Checklist: Factor Analysis of Its Utility for Evaluating Teaching” The authors offer evidence that the TBC is a valid instrument for identifying specific behaviors that instructors can modify to improve their teaching.
Another article in this category deals with outcomes assessment:
Halonen et al. (2003): “A Rubric for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing Scientific Inquiry in Psychology” The authors present “a comprehensive multidimensional rubric to describe the progress of students’ acquisition of scientific inquiry skills throughout their academic experience and [provide] an example of an authentic assessment that demonstrates use of the rubric” (p. 83).
Two other articles focus on student assessment issues:
Benjamin, Cavell, & Shallenberger (1984): “Staying With Initial Answers on Objective Tests: Is It a Myth?” The authors reviewed 33 studies on this topic and found that most students who change their answers on tests do improve their scores, thereby debunking the myth that it is a mistake to change one’s first answer.
Leeming (2002): “The Exam-a-Day Procedure Improves Performance in Psychology Classes” The author found that giving an exam at the beginning of every class resulted in better student grades than in the same classes where there were only four exams. Students also liked the exam-a-day procedure and felt it improved their study habits and their learning.