Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Andrew Martin

Second Advisor

Michael Saddoris

Third Advisor

Lisa Corwin


In the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, there is an intrinsic problem wherein students graduating into those fields are unprepared for the work they have to do. In order to prevent this issue, the Three Dimensional Learning Assessment Protocol (3D­LAP) was developed. The 3D­LAP is made of three standards: Scientific Practices, Cross­Cutting Concepts, and Core Concepts, and these were used to analyze exams given in five courses at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU). The study found that many of the questions on these exams did not meet all of the standards given by the 3D­LAP. Although there were some questions met one or two of them, the trend suggested that these were in same cases due to the nature of the course rather than the depth of the question. These results indicate that teachers at CU should reexamine and reevaluate their exams using the 3D­LAP in order to understand how the questions could be improved. By doing so, the questions will focus more on testing students on their abilities to succeed in the field rather than their abilities to succeed on a test.