One of our main messages here at the Science Education Initiative is that it’s important that teachers both find out what their students difficulties are, and then choose their instructional strategies accordingly.
That sounds easy, but for the average college faculty (facing a sea of 200 faces) or the average K12 teacher (who has to prepare a lesson every single day), this becomes a huge and sometimes insurmountable task to do on your own.
So, I was curious at a recent conference to find out about a tool — Diagnoser — which purports to do this work for you. Here’s the basic idea:
The website has assessments for your students, based on what the National Standards say they should learn. These serve as formative assessment, to inform teachers what their students already know. Students get feedback as they do the tests and, even better, teachers can get reports on their students performance. But those reports don’t just tell teachers what students did right and wrong, but it actually diagnoses what students errors in thinking are, and gives teachers instructional strategies for correcting these misconceptions.
Sounds great in theory, but I wonder how it does in practice? Rhett at dotphysics said it was good for what it is, but there was some limitation (and I’m blanking on what that was). I’d be curious to hear from anyone using this tool.
Diagnoser currently has a lot in Physical Science (Force, Motion, Sound and Waves, Properties of Matter), plus the Human Body System in Life Sciences.