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Faculty Incentive Grants - Surveys & Assessments

FIG faculty administer pre- and post-semester content and attitudes-towards-science assessments in their modified courses. We are gathering these data for FIG “program evaluation” purposes and not as an evaluation of individual faculty or individual FIG projects. These assessments are provided to faculty and are ones used broadly in undergraduate STEM courses.

Table of Assessments

The following table lists content assessments and attitude surveys that we recommend you use in your courses.  These are to be administered to the students taking your course and the MLAs during the first week of classes.  Note that we will administer ONLY attitude surveys to all the MLAs–you will need to administer attitude surveys and content assessments to students.  For a few of you, there is no discipline-specific content assessment available.  In that case, we’re suggesting you use TOSLS (a Test of Scientific Literacy Skills–see below).  Let us know if you’d like to talk about other possibilities and contact if you need help administering these surveys.  The links to all the attitude surveys and TOSLS are provided below.

Course Being Modified Content Assessment Attitude Survey
BIO 100 Basic Biology BIO 100 Asmt (“Grandma Johnson Diagnostic Question Cluster”)  BIO C-LASS
BIO 350 Concepts and Applications of Genetics Genetics Concept Asmt
CHY 121/CHY 122 Introduction to Chemistry ACS Gen Chem Conceptual Exam CHEM C-LASS
ECE 342 Electronics I PHY 441/ECE 342 Conceptual Questions None
ERS 201 Global Environmental Change Test of Scientific Literacy Skills (TOSLS) Geol/O.S. SPESS
MAT 122 Precalculus Precalculus Asmt MAT C-LASS
MAT 126 Calculus I Calculus Concept Asmt
PHY 121 Physics for Engineers and Physical Scientists I Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation PHY C-LASS
PHY 122 Physics for Engineers and Physical Scientists II Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment
PHY 441 Physical Electronics Laboratory PHY 441/ECE 342 Conceptual Questions E-CLASS
SMS 300 Marine Ecology Test of Scientific Literacy Skills (TOSLS) Geol/O.S. SPESS
SMS 422 Biology of Fishes Test of Scientific Literacy Skills (TOSLS)


Attitude Surveys

We will administer attitude surveys to your MLAs only. Please ask your students to take the appropriate online attitude pre-survey preferably in the first week, and not later than the second week.  For post-surveys, please administer in the last week (or second to last week) of classes.

There is a link to the Informed Consent form at the beginning of each survey.  The surveys collect First and Last Name, Student ID, Course, and Student vs. MLA information.

If any of your colleagues are interested in using these attitude surveys, DO NOT let them use the same URL link.  Have them contact for a different link.

Here are the links to the respective course surveys (these are password protected and the password is provided to FIG faculty by email):

BIO 350 CLASS Spring 2014  –

CHY 121/122 CLASS Spring 2014  –

MAT 122 CLASS Spring 2014  –

PHY 122 CLASS Spring 2014  –

SPESS Spring 2014  –

Content Assessments

Please administer your pre-content assessments to your students AND MLAs in the first week, and not later than the second week, of classes.  For post-assessments, please administer in the last week or second to last week of classes.  We will ask you to share the raw data with us so please be ready to do that at the end of the semester.  Please also ensure that your content assessments collect the same information about your students as the attitude surveys (First and Last Name, Student ID, Course information, and Student vs. MLA).

Earth and Ocean Sciences Faculty:  If you have identified a content assessment for your students, please let us know.  If you have not, please use the following Test of Scientific Literacy Skills.  The same format details and password apply to this survey as for the attitude surveys.

TOSLS Spring 2014  –

IRB Information for Students

The FIG-MLA program has received approval from the University of Maine Institutional Review Board.  As part of our IRB plan, students need to be made aware of the data collection they are participating in and that their participation is voluntary.  This, and more, is explained in the General Informed Consent Form (PDF).  Please post this to your course website and feel free to provide it as a handout to your students.

Once we know on what day you will be providing this information to your students we will send a representative who can help you address any questions that may arise.  Someone from the MainePSP will contact you about this.

Here is information you can use in your lecture to help you explain IRB to your students: IRB Slide (PDF) and a list of IRB Talking Points (PDF).

Surveying and Assessing MLAs

Make sure your MLAs take your pre- and post- content assessments along with your students and make sure that you are able to distinguish between them and the other students somehow.  For those of you using scantron bubble sheets, one suggestion is to ask the MLAs to use a fake name, and enter all 1’s for student ID #–that way you’ll know it was an MLA and not a student.  But in order to track them pre/post, they must remember to re-use the same fake name for the post-assessment!  This is to alleviate any worries they may have about being judged for their performance on the assessment.

We will hold a 30-minute Orientation for MLAs at the end of the first MLA seminar each semester. This will be required for all students paid by MainePSP to work as MLAs.  The orientation will discuss IRB and assessments as well as other UMaine student employee matters.

Surveying Students about MLAs

We are gathering data about the students’ reactions to taking MLA-supported courses.  Please administer the following survey to your students at the end of the semester (MLA Clicker Questions (PDF)).  You can do this as a series of clicker questions during class time (please don’t show the results if MLAs are present) or you can ask them to respond online (email to request the online Google form link).


Here are a FIG Timeline (PDF) and FIG Worksheet (PDF) that will help you understand the FIG program cycle.  Use this to plan your year, including administration of content assessments and attitude surveys.  Fill out the worksheet and share this information with the coordinator (

Point Systems for Surveys/Assessments

You may wish to establish some kind of reward system to encourage your students to participate in assessment/survey activities.  If you would like more information about this please contact


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