Development and Validation of the Geoscience Quantitative Preparation Survey (GQPS)

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We have created a new survey instrument for national implementation, based on the results of our recent qualitative investigations, the Career Masters Survey from the American Geosciences Institute, and the suite of career skills recommended by the Summit on the Future of Undergraduate Geoscience Education initiative. The Geoscience Quantitative Preparation Survey (GQPS) is designed for geoscientists – geologists only during initial pilot testing – who are 3-10 years removed from BS/BA graduation with 3-7 years of related work experience. The GQPS is designed to measure (1) self-efficacy in a variety of quantitative skills, (2) whether participants use these various quantitative skills at work and/or (3) outside of work, and (4) whether participants are satisfied with the problem solving, quantitative communication, and computer-based skills they received during their undergraduate education, both in their geoscience departments and (5) at their universities outside of their departments.

This presentation will focus primarily on the background, development, and validation of the GQPS survey instrument. The GQPS was loosely based on a medical patient numeracy test, the Subjective Numeracy Scale (Fagerlin et al 2007). We took the general questions of the SNS – designed to determine whether medical patients could understand quantitative instructions involving things like medications – and expanded the level of math skills discussed while re-framing the questions for a geoscience context. Validation of the GQPS is a three-part process. First, the survey was reviewed iteratively by a panel of three survey experts. Second, a group of ten graduate student volunteers took the draft version of the instrument while giving an oral account of any confusion or inconsistency noted. Third, we will validate quantitatively using the official responses to the survey and will include responses for validation from participants that fall outside the target range of experience and/or years-from-graduation.

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Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 50. issue 6, no. 102-5