To measure student changes in STEM courses, the LASSO platform hosts, administers, scores, and analyzes student pretest and posttest scores online. Figure 1 outlines the steps for instructors to use LASSO. The LASSO platform is hosted on the Learning Assistant (LA) Alliance website1.
Instructors add new courses by answering a short series of questions about their course. Instructors then select assessments from the LASSO repository to administer to their students. As of the Fall ‘18 term, LASSO hosts sixteen research-based conceptual and attitudinal assessments across the STEM disciplines. Once instructors upload a course roster with emails and select a deadline for the pretest, they can launch the pretest. Each student receives an email with participation instructions including a personalized link to their online assessment. Students first choose whether they would like their answers to be anonymized and aggregated into the LASSO research database. They then complete a set of demographics questions and the RBA.
After students have completed their pretests, instructors can download a spreadsheet of their students’ raw and scored responses. They can use the student responses to inform teaching practices, such as identifying concepts the students are more knowledgeable about, identifying students who may need additional support, and creating student small groups.
During the final weeks of the course, instructors follow the same steps for launching and tracking their students’ progress on the posttests as they did on the pretest. Instructors can then download a spreadsheet with their students’ pre and posttest responses as well as a final report. The spreadsheet supports faculty who wish to research their own course outcomes or upload their results to another data analysis system, such as Data Explorer. The final report is an assessment-specific PDF that provides instructors with an easy-to-understand analysis about their class’s performance.
For other LASSO references: