[FUN_Mail] Major field test (for Neuroscience)

William Grisham via FUN_Mail fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org
Mon Oct 13 12:13:26 EDT 2014

Dear Divya,

I am fairly confident that no such standardized instrument exists for
testing students' knowledge of neuroscience. While I was at NSF, I talked
to some PIs about creating one, but they ultimately backed off of the idea.

That being said, if one would team-up with someone really skilled in test
construction, they might be able to get a grant from NSF's Division of
Undergraduate Education IUSE program to develop such an instrument. Besides
just testing knowledge, I think that such an instrument should also tap
critical thinking skills that we are hopefully instilling in our students.

The need to evaluate the efficacy of neuroscience courses as well as
programs is clear, particularly as these programs are growing and serving
ever larger segments of the STEM students/community. Thus the need to
develop an appropriate testing instrument is clear.

William (Bill) Grisham, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
Department of Psychology, UCLA
1285 Franz Hall
PO Box 951563
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563

(310) 825-7990
Dr.billgrisham at gmail.com

On Sun, Oct 12, 2014 at 5:28 PM, Divya Sitaraman via FUN_Mail <
fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org> wrote:

> Dear FUN folks,
> I am an Asst Professor in Behavioral Neuroscience at University of San
> Diego and am truly excited to be a part of the FUN community. The
> Behavioral Neuroscience major was started in our school in 2012 and in
> order to gauge how we are doing we would like to conduct a Major Field Test
> (or something like it) for our graduating seniors in Spring 2014.
> It will be anonymous and the idea is to present students with Neuroscience
> questions and test their understanding of the field. We have been looking
> around for something standardized but haven't been able to find something
> concrete yet.
> I was interested in hearing your experiences regarding 2 major issues that
> we have been talking about:
> a) How to test students knowledge of Neuroscience?
> b) Are there any tests out there that will meet this purpose?
> Thanks and I look forward to your responses,
> Divya Sitaraman
> Assistant Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience
> University of San Diego
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Visiting Scientist
> Janelia Research Campus at HHMI
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