Aligning Assessments to Course Outcomes


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  • So very true and sad. Too many educators say they want students to develop higher level learning skills but the reality is 'Listen to me carefully, take notes and when I examine you feed me back what I told you.' This is very much the national condition in Chinese Education. I think of this as a 'Confucian' model - Learning will never happen unless we teachers are prepared to foster challenge to what we tell our students - this is an excellent and worthy presentation!
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  • Aligning Assessments to Course Outcomes

    1. 1. Aligning Assessments to Course Outcomes G.I.F.T.S. Conference NHMCCD April 28, 2006
    2. 2. Workshop Objectives <ul><li>Learn about alignment of assessments & outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Identify common mismatches between expectations of student learning & classroom practice </li></ul><ul><li>Review your own processes for assessing students </li></ul><ul><li>Identify strategies for measuring student achievements for at least one outcome in a course </li></ul>
    3. 3. Dream and Imagine <ul><li>My dream is that students in my course will … </li></ul><ul><li>Two years from now, I want my students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to know…. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to be able to… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Good courses are courses that… </li></ul>
    4. 4. Your Students <ul><li>How do your students perform on the assessments that you currently use? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you happy with this performance? </li></ul><ul><li>Are they learning? </li></ul><ul><li>I wish they would …. </li></ul>
    5. 5. A Word about Learning <ul><li>For learning to occur, the learner must experience change. </li></ul><ul><li>Significant learning requires lasting change. </li></ul><ul><li>Fink, Creating Significant Learning Experiences </li></ul>
    6. 6. New Teaching Paradigms <ul><li>From </li></ul><ul><li>Covering material </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is cumulative and linear </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty = lecturers </li></ul><ul><li>Blank slate </li></ul><ul><li>How will I teach this? </li></ul>To Specific learning results Learning is nesting & interaction of frameworks Faculty=designers of learning methods, environments Active construction How will students learn this? Barr and Tagg (1995)
    7. 7. A Word about Outcomes <ul><li>Outcomes, objectives, goals </li></ul><ul><li>How are they used? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>design, development, implementation and assessment </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Characteristics - Effective Learning Outcomes <ul><li>Are student-focused, not professor-focused </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on learning resulting from activity, not on activity itself </li></ul><ul><li>Reflects institution’s mission and values </li></ul><ul><li>Are in alignment at course, academic program, institutional levels </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on important, non-trivial aspects of learning that are credible to the public </li></ul><ul><li>Huba and Freed, Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses </li></ul>
    9. 9. Characteristics - Effective Learning Outcomes <ul><li>Focus on skills & abilities central to the discipline and based on professional standards of excellence </li></ul><ul><li>Are general enough capture important learning but clear and specific enough to be measurable </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on aspects of learning that will develop & endure but that can be assessed in some form now </li></ul>
    10. 10. Institutional, Academic Program, and Course Outcomes Students will be able to speak and write effectively. Academic Program Outcome (Psychology) Students can speak and write effectively in the discourse of psychology. Course Outcome (Psychological Measurement) Students can prepare a written summary and interpretation of standardized test results. Institutional Outcome
    11. 11. Course Outcomes <ul><li>Reflect the course description </li></ul><ul><li>3-4 learning outcomes per credit hour </li></ul><ul><li>Are measurable and clearly stated </li></ul><ul><li>Use clear, strong, action verbs </li></ul><ul><li>Are not a list of activities </li></ul>
    12. 12. Definition of an Assessment <ul><li>An assessment is an activity, assigned by the professor, that yields comprehensive information for analyzing, discussing, and judging a learner’s performance of valued abilities and skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Huba and Freed, Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses </li></ul>
    13. 13. Need for alignment <ul><li>Faculty often state they are seeking to develop students’ ability to analyze, synthesize, and think critically…. A formal review of syllabi and exams revealed that college faculty do not in reality focus on these advanced skills but instead are far more concerned with students’ abilities to acquire knowledge, comprehend basic concepts or ideas and terms, and apply this knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>National Center for Education Statistics, 1997 </li></ul>
    14. 14. Elements of Assessment Process <ul><li>Formulate statements of intended learning outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Develop or select assessment measures </li></ul><ul><li>Create experiences leading to outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Use assessment results to improve teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Huba and Freed, Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses </li></ul>
    15. 15. Teacher-Centered Learner-Centered Desired learning is assessed directly through papers, projects, performances, portfolios, etc. Desired learning is assessed indirectly through the use of objectively scored tests. Emphasis is on generating better questions and learning from errors. Emphasis is on right answers. Assessment is used to promote and diagnose learning. Assessing is used to monitor learning.
    16. 16. Assessment Measures <ul><li>Direct measures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Projects, papers, exhibitions, performances, case studies, clinical evaluations, portfolios, interviews, oral exams </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Indirect measures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-reports from students (CATS, surveys, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Huba and Freed, Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. A Word about Assessment <ul><li>Summative assessment - “after the teaching” - determines the level of attainment reached by a student; contri- butes to final grade </li></ul><ul><li>Formative assessment - “during the teaching” - monitors student progress; info about immediate teaching-learning decisions </li></ul>
    18. 18. Types of Assessments <ul><li>Brainstorm </li></ul>
    19. 19. Authentic Assessments <ul><li>Ask students to demonstrate not only the knowledge they have acquired but how to use this knowledge. </li></ul>
    20. 20. CATs <ul><li>Classroom Assessment Techniques </li></ul><ul><li>course related knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>attitudes, values, self-awareness </li></ul><ul><li>learner reaction to instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Why assess these? </li></ul>
    21. 21. Review Assessments <ul><li>Make assessment worth grading </li></ul><ul><li>Consider what you want students to learn </li></ul><ul><li>Select tests, assessments that both teach and test learning you value most </li></ul><ul><li>Construct course outline that shows nature & sequence of major assessments </li></ul><ul><li>Check that assessments fit your learning goals & are feasible for workload </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborate with students to set, achieve goals </li></ul><ul><li>Give students explicit directions for assignments </li></ul>Walvoord & Anderson, Effective Grading
    22. 22. Christine Salmon Professional Support Center, Tomball College Skeletal course outline <ul><li>Indicate only major assessments, those you care most about. </li></ul><ul><li>Other, minor assessments (quizzes, exercises) -- rehearsal </li></ul><ul><li>Review sample course outlines (in handout) </li></ul>
    23. 23. What can you do? <ul><li>Select one of the outcomes for your course. </li></ul><ul><li>What are students in your course expected to know / be able to do that is related to your chosen outcome?  </li></ul><ul><li>Consider what kinds of instruments you use to measure student achievement. </li></ul><ul><li>Create a skeleton course outline. </li></ul>
    24. 24. Thank you <ul><li>Please complete the evaluation of this workshop. Your feedback is important. </li></ul>