Toolkit Resources


STEM Assessments

There are many ways to assess STEM learning outcomes, from indirect to direct measures.The links below represent a collection of instruments and methodologies that will help campuses measure the impact of their programs in STEM.

American Chemical Society Exams

Classroom Undergraduate Research Experiences (CURE)
The Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) survey grew out of a creative collaboration of faculty from Grinnell College, Hope College, Harvey Mudd College, and Wellesley College, funded by HHMI. The CURE may be used as a pretest-posttest or posttest-only survey to measure student experiences in "research-like" or other science courses.

Colorado Learning Attitudes About Science (CLASS) Survey
The Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey, CLASS draws from the existing surveys and adds and refines material to account for other student ABs observed to be important in educational practice. The CLASS was written to make the questions as clear and concise as possible and is readily adapted to use in a wide variety of science courses. Students are asked to respond on a Likert-like (5-point agree to disagree) scale to questions such as: "Learning physics changes my ideas about how the world works". It has been used in both pencil and paper and online formats. 

Concept Inventories

ETS Major Field tests
The ETS® Major Field Tests are comprehensive undergraduate and MBA outcomes assessments designed to measure the critical knowledge and understanding obtained by students in a major field of study. The Major Field Tests go beyond the measurement of factual knowledge by helping you evaluate students’ ability to analyze and solve problems, understand relationships and interpret material from their major field of study.

Field-Tested Assessment Guide (FLAG)
The FLAG offers broadly applicable, self-contained modular classroom assessment techniques (CATs) and discipline-specific tools for STEM instructors interested in new approaches to evaluating student learning, attitudes and performance. Each has been developed, tested and refined in real colleges and universities classrooms. The FLAG also contains an assessment primer, a section to help you select the most appropriate assessment technique(s) for your course goals, and other resources.

Listing of More Tools by Discipline

Research on Integrated Science Curriculum (RISC)
The RISC surveys (there are 3) are part of a research program initiated by the Interdisciplinary Learning Consortium, whose founding members represent Carleton College, Grinnell College, Hope College, St. Olaf College, and Whitman College. The Interdisciplinary Learning Consortium is funded by grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. .

Summer Undergraduate Research Experiences (SURE)
The Survey of Undergraduate Research Experiences (SURE) is a survey for undergraduates who have recently completed a summer undergraduate research experience. The SURE-III Survey intends to collect quantitative data on the benefits of undergraduate research by duplicating and extending the first SURE (Lopatto, 2004a, 2004b).

Using the Academic Skills Inventory to Assess the Biology Major
This is a link to an article on ERIC (Educational Information Resource Center) on the Academic Skills Inventory (Kruger and Zechmeister, 2001).

VALUE Rubrics
Many colleges and universities have developed their own rubrics which they use to foster and assess STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) outcomes. Reviewing rubrics from several campuses can help focus local thinking about expectations for student learning in this area. 

Views about Science Survey (VASS)
The Views About Science Survey (VASS) is designed to survey student views about knowing and learning science, and to assess the relation of these views to student understanding of science and course achievement (Grades 8-16).

Views on the Nature of Science (VNOS)
The Views of Nature of Science Questionnaire (VNOS) has three versions, all of which are open-ended. The most frequently used versions are the VNOS–B (seven items) and the VNOS–C (ten items). Each instrument aims to elucidate students' views about several aspects of "nature of science" (NOS).

Other methods:

  • Other institutional data (course/program retention, graduation rates, student GPA, etc.)
  • Course evaluations/student evaluations of faculty
  • Embedded exam questions
  • Evaluation of capstone or signature projects