Context Matters: Alternative Assessments in STEM

Professor Erin Whitteck - University of Missouri St. Louis (Host: Professor Heemstra)

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the discussion about the reliance on high-stakes exams to
assess student learning in STEM courses. Many faculty may be aware of alternative assessment
approaches but need more structured opportunities to discuss their implementation's logistics,
successes, and challenges. This session will describe the lessons learned about alternative
assessments through a year-long multi-institutional faculty learning community (FLC) of faculty
from diverse ranks, institution types, and STEM disciplines. Based on focus groups conducted
with the FLC participants, I will outline the factors that motivated faculty to adopt alternative
assessments, the situational and contextual factors required to implement alternative assessments
successfully, and the participants’ recommendations to administrators and the broader STEM
Reception following – Bryan Hall 513