Tracking Student Pathways to Competency in Online Geoscience Learning

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Currently, more than 100,000 college students take introductory geology courses in online or blended learning formats. For the most part, these courses utilize a “competency-based” assessment rubric. Many geology professors contend that tracking students’ knowledge of subject material via competency-based testing may not be well suited to the geological sciences. One concern is that students can “guess” their way through exercises and produce the “appearance” of competency without actually gaining sufficient knowledge of the material.


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