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Problem-based learning and assessment in hydrology courses: Can non-traditional assessment better reflect intended learning outcomes?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology. Stockholm Universitet, Sverige.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3344-2468
2011 (English)In: Natural Sciences Education, ISSN 2168-8281, Vol. 40, no 1, 199-205 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Hydrology has at its core a focus on real-world applications and problems stemming from the importance of water for society and natural systems. While hydrology is firmly founded in traditional “hard” sciences like physics and mathematics, much of the innovation and excitement in current and future research-oriented hydrology comes through intersection with other disciplines. This leads to combinations of intended learning outcomes (ILOs) in hydrology courses that may not be easily or completely achieved using traditional lecture-based learning environments or using basic problem-solving techniques. Problem based learning (PBL) may work well in hydrology courses due to the focus on real-world applications and cross-discipline natureof modern hydrology. Since PBL differs from traditional teacher-centered approaches, student learning must be supported and assessed differently. This article focuses on identifying several non-traditional assessment forms to help facilitate the use of PBL approaches in hydrology courses. We present an example hydrology modeling course employing one such non-traditional PBLspecific form of assessment. Further, we seek to test the hypothesis that  non-traditional assessment associated with PBL better reflects the ability of the students to achieve the ILOs in such courses. Results from the example course considered indicate that students not only preferred but also performed better in a PBL environment with its non-traditional form of assessment. This makes a strong case for incorporating both PBL and associated non-traditional forms of assessment into our teaching in hydrology and other applied science courses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 40, no 1, 199-205 p.
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-66397OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-66397DiVA: diva2:467736
Available from: 2011-12-19 Created: 2011-12-19 Last updated: 2013-12-03Bibliographically approved

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Lyon, Steve W.Teutschbein, Claudia
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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