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Creating Effective Research Assignments: Step 2: Determine Acceptable Evidence of Learning

Determine Acceptable Evidence of Learning


  • How will we know if students have achieved the desired results and met the standards?
  • What will we accept as evidence of student understanding and proficiency?


1. Students need to understand that psychologists use empirical, rather than anecdotal data to make decisions. Evidence of Learning: Students compare anecdotal and empirical evidence of a specific claim. Students summarize the empirical study and describe how a psychologist might use it in a professional context.
2. Students need to understand that psychologists publish empirical research in peer-reviewed journals, that these journals are often not available for free on the Web, and that the library subscribes to these journals. Evidence of Learning: Students access electronic journals and psychology databases from the library website.
3. Students need to understand that there are specialized search tools to locate this peer-reviewed literature efficiently. Students need to be able to conduct a basic search and access material in the library's print and electronic collections. Evidence of Learning: Students locate at least one peer-reviewed, empirical study from PsycInfo, PsycArticles or other library databases
4. Students need to understand the legal, ethical, and practical reasons for citing the work of others in written materials. They need to be able to identify the elements of a citation and format a citation in APA style. Evidence of Learning: Students attribute all sources of information that are not common knowledge by using citations in proper APA format.
5. They need to develop strategies for reading and understanding scholarly work in the field. This includes identifying the basic elements fo an empirical study (questions, methods, findings, etc.) and summarizing the research questions and findings section as a first step in understanding. Evidence of Learning: Students summarize the research problem or question, methods, and most significant finding of one empirical study.