A new instrument to assess scientific literacy for space outreach

Isabelle Kingsley, Carol Oliver, Martin Van Kranendonk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

To date, the standard quantitative questionnaire has been the 'go to' instrument for measuring impacts of space-related Education and Public Outreach (EPO). Although these instruments are well established, easy and inexpensive ways to measure large samples of participants, researchers in the field of EPO are increasingly pointing to the need for more sensitive instruments to evaluate the impacts of outreach efforts [1, 2]. We report on the development of a new instrument-a digital game-designed to measure the effectiveness of space EPO activities in achieving their scientific literacy objectives. The instrument uses choice-based assessment and Teachable Agents (TA) in a game-like interactive digital application. Choice-based assessment, developed by the Stanford Graduate School of Education, measures learning by evaluating the choices a participant makes, rather than their knowledge [3]. Also developed by Stanford Graduate School of Education, a Teachable Agent (TA) is a learning technology that uses the social metaphor of teaching a computer agent by creating a concept map that serves as the agent's 'brain'[3]. This game-like instrument measures the choices (concept maps) that participants make in 'teaching' their TA about the nature of science and scientific process. We can then use it to measure any changes in participant choices after participating in space EPO. The concept map components and concepts available to participants in the game, as well as related assessment scales, derive from various existing instruments that have been tested for reliability and validity, including: the Student Understanding of Science and Scientific Inquiry (SUSSI) questionnaire [4] and the Trust in Science and Scientists (TSSI) questionnaire [5]. Demographic questions about participants' gender, age, level of education, level of science education and area of work are also included in the instrument.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication68th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2017
Subtitle of host publicationUnlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation, IAF
Pages1671-1678
Number of pages8
Volume3
ISBN (Print)9781510855373
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event68th International Astronautical Congress: Unlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security, IAC 2017 - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: Sep 25 2017Sep 29 2017

Other

Other68th International Astronautical Congress: Unlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security, IAC 2017
CountryAustralia
CityAdelaide
Period9/25/179/29/17

Keywords

  • Education and Public Outreach (EPO)
  • Evaluation
  • Impact
  • Space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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  • Cite this

    Kingsley, I., Oliver, C., & Van Kranendonk, M. (2017). A new instrument to assess scientific literacy for space outreach. In 68th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2017: Unlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security (Vol. 3, pp. 1671-1678). International Astronautical Federation, IAF.