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Assessing Science Learning: Piloting the Science Literacy Concept Inventory in Community Science

Lumadue, Nichole Mae
The importance and need for science learning assessment in public participation in scientific research (PPSR) has been recognized by community science researchers. Many community science practitioners claim to increase science literacy through direct participation in projects. But as Phillips et al. (2018) revealed, most community sciences projects are not designed with explicit science literacy learning outcomes, nor do they measure science learning. In 2010, Dr. Edward Nuhfer and colleagues developed the Science Literacy Concept Inventory (SLCI) to assess the impacts of college-level general education science courses on students’ science literacy. However, the SLCI has never been used in informal science education. This research discusses the results of a pilot study, which examined the practicality of the SLCI as an instrument to assess science literacy in community science projects. My findings show that the community science group in this study scored graduate-level science literacy. With proven success in higher education, the SLCI could offer a valuable instrument to advance the assessment of science literacy in PPSR and assist practitioners in identifying gaps in science learning.
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Research Projects
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community science,science literacy,assessment,informal science education,citizen science
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