NITOP January 2005
Ken Carter, PhD
Oxford College of Emory University
Presentation Title: The Classroom Learning Activity Scale (CLAS)
A review of the literature on classroom demonstrations and activities reveals a wide array of assessment tools (e.g. Morrow 2002, Bleask-Rechek 2001). While this is encouraging given the increased importance of evaluation, nearly all of the measures reflect aspects of evaluation deemed important by faculty. In addition the scales themselves are as varied as the activities they measure. An effort to help those instructors who do not want to create their own form and to integrate the considerations of what students find important lead to the development of the Classroom Learning Activity Scale (CLAS).
In a previous study (Lewis & Carter 2003) we surveyed students in several introductory psychology courses and asked them to tell us what things are important to them when they evaluate a classroom activity or demonstration. Comments from students were sorted into categories. Faculty categories were generated from the most commonly occurring items found in evaluations of classroom activities in two years of Teaching of Psychology (2001-2002). We then compared the student categories to faculty categories. Items reflecting the combined categories were generated to develop CLAS items.
The Classroom Learning Activity Scale (CLAS)
Please think back to the project or activity you just completed and let me know how much you agree or disagree with the following statements.
Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Neither disagree nor agree Somewhat agree Strongly agree
1. It was useful. 1 2 3 4 5
3. It helped me learn more. 1 2 3 4 5
4. It helped me to understand the course concepts better. 1 2 3 4 5
5. I found it relevant to the course material. 1 2 3 4 5
7. I preferred this over other assignments or activities Ive done in similar classes. 1 2 3 4 5
8. I think other professors should do this type of thing. 1 2 3 4 5
9. I found it interesting. 1 2 3 4 5
10. It was personally relevant. 1 2 3 4 5
11. It was something new. 1 2 3 4 5
12. It was simple and clear. 1 2 3 4 5
13. This activity gave me an opportunity to interact with the professor. 1 2 3 4 5
14. This activity gave me an opportunity to interact with other students. 1 2 3 4 5
15. I found that I was actively engaged while doing it. 1 2 3 4 5
16. It was challenging. 1 2 3 4 5
17 This project was a good use of my time 1 2 3 4 5
On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest) please rate the overall value of this assignment
1 2 3 4 5
The CLAS may be an important development in classroom demonstrations and activities assessment because it provides a tool for those who do not wish to create their own and it offers items that are important not only to faculty, but to students as well. Future studies on the CLAS will focus on the benefit of this scale to instructors.
Lewis, S. A. & Carter, K. (2003). An analysis of classroom activity assessment. Paper to be presented at the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, American Psychological Association Meeting, August, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Bleske-Rechek, A. L. (2001). Obedience, conformity, and social roles: Active learning in a large introductory psychology class. Teaching of Psychology, 28, 260-262.
Morrow, J. (2002). Demonstrating the anchoring-adjustment heuristic and the power of the situation. Teaching of Psychology, 19, 129-132.