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Assessment and Evaluation

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Although we don’t often think of it this way, assignments and exams are the way that we find out if our students have met our goals for them. We tend to think of assignments and exams as demonstrating the depth and extent of student knowledge, but they actually reveal a great deal more.

Once again, start with a list of your learning goals and beneath each goal, list several different kinds of assignments or exam formats that would both offer your students a chance to demonstrate that they had achieved your goals for them (by using the skills you identified as vital to their learning process) and which would allow you to determine how well, in fact, the goals have been achieved.

Evaluating students' learning is difficult both for you and your students. You must design a test or exam that will measure student performance within the bounds of the objectives established at the beginning of the course. Students will prepare themselves according to those predetermined objectives and will try to anticipate your demand. Therefore, you will need valid and reliable information if you want to evaluate your students' performance accurately.

Contents

[edit] Measuring Goals and Objectives

Essentially, classroom measurement is aimed at evaluating how students are responding to the content of the course, how they understand the material, to what extent they can generalize the concepts, or other instructional objectives.

There are many methods you can choose from to evaluate your students' learning: short-answer tests, essay tests, multiple-choice tests, etc. The type of evaluation used should reflect the goals and objectives of the course. It is important to assess the suitability of each method for gathering specific kinds of information. You may want to consult an experienced colleague in your faculty or department, or the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Educational Technologies for more detailed information about the characteristics of the different evaluation methods.

Each evaluation method can be used for three assessment procedures that can be characterized according to time of use: pre-assessment, formative assessment and summative assessment (Allen and Rueter, 1990).

[edit] Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity refers to a Student’s acknowledgement of and respect for academic principles and behaviours that support the University’s mission. Academic Dishonesty refers to a Student’s engagement (knowingly or otherwise) in behaviours that serve to deceive members of the University community in an effort to achieve academic benefit. Academic Misconduct refers to any act or practice of behaviours by a Student or group of Students, deliberate or otherwise that has the potential to damage the learning environment and undermine the University’s mission. It is the responsibility of every member of the University community (Students, Faculty and Staff) to act ethically and with integrity and support an environment, which values academic integrity in every aspect of life on campus

More about Academic Integrity can be found in it's own article.

[edit] Example Assessment Techniques

[edit] Course Objectives

[edit] Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives

[edit] Expressing Learning Outcomes

[edit] The Calendar

Once all of the planning outlined above has been completed, you are finally ready to take out a calendar. But not just any calendar: start with the university’s academic calendar so that while planning you can take all the university holidays into consideration.More than one professor has been frustrated weeks into a course after realizing that a lecture had been planned for an unexpected university holiday, or that the term ended a few days earlier than expected. Now that the calendar is out, creative thinking about your course can take a new turn. Using your original learning goals list, map out a logical progression of knowledge and skills building over the course of the academic term. As a clear pattern emerges and you add the course content and developmental assignment structure onto the calendar, see if you can break down each week of the course into themes that will support your learning goals. This will help the students understand the trajectory of your course even better.

[1]The plan or design of all good courses provide for both differentiation and integration of learning.

  • The differentiation can be reflected in:
  • Variety in the type of learning activities from day-to-day, within each topical block of time.
  • Development in the complexity and challenge of the learning from week 1 to 12.
  • The integration should be reflected both within each topical unit of time and in the progression through each of the topical units.
  • At the conclusion of this process, you should be ready to layout a week-by-week schedule of activities for the whole term. As you do this, there is a helpful sequence of questions to ask:
  • What activities need to come first, i.e., how should the course begin?
  • What activities do you want to conclude with, i.e., how should the course end?
  • What should the sequence of activities be in the middle of the course?
  • Developing the design or plan for the course is very important. It is also important, though, to remember that it is only a plan. Like all plans, it needs to be flexible and subject to change as it is implemented.

[edit] Checklist of Effective Course Design Components

[edit] Assessment & Evaluation

Evaluating students' learning is difficult both for you and your students. You must design a test or exam that will measure student performance within the bounds of the objectives established at the beginning of the course. Students will prepare themselves according to those predetermined objectives and will try to anticipate your demand. Therefore, you will need valid and reliable information if you want to evaluate your students' performance accurately.

  • FOR EACH GENERAL GOAL specified, what information can you gather that will tell you and each student how well he or she is achieving that goal? Or how well the whole class is learning?
  • For which goals are paper/pencil evaluations sufficient? Which need reflective writing? Performance assessment?
  • What kind of feedback and assessment can you provide that will go beyond just providing a basis for the grade and will actually enhance the learning process?

[edit] Measuring Goals and Objectives

Essentially, classroom measurement is aimed at evaluating how students are responding to the content of the course, how they understand the material, to what extent they can generalize the concepts, or other instructional objectives.

There are many methods you can choose from to evaluate your students' learning: short-answer tests, essay tests, multiple-choice tests, etc. The type of evaluation used should reflect the goals and objectives of the course. It is important to assess the suitability of each method for gathering specific kinds of information. You may want to consult an experienced colleague in your faculty or department, or the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Educational Technologies for more detailed information about the characteristics of the different evaluation methods.

Each evaluation method can be used for three assessment procedures that can be characterized according to time of use: pre-assessment, formative assessment and summative assessment [2].

[edit] Types of Assessment

[edit] One Minute Paper

[edit] Classroom Assessment Techniques

[edit] Assignment and Exam Design

[edit] Grading

[edit] References

  1. Dee Fink. Expressing Learning Outcomes.
  2. Allen and Rueter, 1990
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