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Assessment for higher education (for biology faculty seminar)


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Assessment for Higher Education

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Assessment for higher education (for biology faculty seminar)

  1. 1. Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted . Albert Einstein 1
  2. 2. First - the Lighter Side 2
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  7. 7. Prof: Class, who can tell me what I have preserved in this jar? Student A: It’s pig. Student B: Is it a baby cow? Prof: No, it’s neither a pig nor a baby cow … It’s the last student who got caught cheating on one of my test.
  8. 8. Some Pressing Issues in the Classroom On Effective Learning • The test used by teachers encourage rote and superficial learning • Questions and methods teachers use are not shared with other teachers in the same school • Tendency to emphasize quantity and presentation of work neglecting quality in relation to learning
  9. 9. Some Pressing Issues in the Classroom On the negative impact  Overemphasis on grading function neglecting the learning function.  Approaches are used in which students are compared with one another.  The collection of marks to fill in records is given higher priority than the analysis of student’s work to discern learning needs.
  10. 10. • Many Years Back and Even Today 10
  11. 11. The Curve y 0 Mean Ranking and Sorting x
  12. 12. Misuse of statistics – labeling students 12
  13. 13. The Average Child • I don’t cause teachers trouble, my grades have been ok. I listen in my classes and I’m in school everyday. • My teachers think I’m average, my parents think so too. I wish I didn’t know that ‘cause there’s lots I’d like to do. • I’d like to build a rocket, I have a book that tells you how, or start a stamp collection —well there’s no use in trying now. •‘Cause since I found I’m average I’m just smart enough you see, to know there is nothing special that I should expect of me. I’m part of the majority, that hump part of the bell, who spends their life unnoticed in an average kind of hell. Written by 9th Grade North American Native Child quoted by Dale Parnell 13
  14. 14. Purpose of School has Changed from Ranking/sorting to Learning for all Goal: Independent, self-directed learners
  15. 15. Key Beliefs • All students can learn • Schools and teachers make a difference • If students are assisted to work hard – make an effort – they improve • An assessment culture is central to student and school improvement
  16. 16. Moving the Mountain Higher Learning for All
  17. 17. Some Definitions • Test- a set of specified, uniform tasks to be performed by students, these tasks being appropriate sample from the knowledge or skills in a broader field of content. • From the number of tasks done correctly in the sample, the teacher makes an assumption of how student will perform in the total field. • It is a tool whose general characteristic is that it forces responses from a student
  18. 18. • Measurement- a system of observing phenomenon, attribute, or characteristic and translating those observations into numbers according to a rule (Case, 1999). 18
  19. 19. • Evaluation - the determination of the worth or value of an event, object, or individual in terms of a specified criterion. • Educators evaluate student progress by comparing student performance to the criteria of success based on instructional objectives.
  20. 20. Test Measurement Evaluation Assessment 20
  21. 21. “No matter how good you are, you can always do better” By the end of this session you will have a better understanding of how ASSESSMENTS can actually help improve learning (and teaching), and how you can better lead these processes. 21
  22. 22. This implies it is something we do with and for the students and not to the students (Green, 1998) 22
  23. 23. • Assessment - refers to the full range of information gathered and synthesized about the students  Assessment is the process of gathering, recording, interpreting, usin g and reporting information about a student’s progress and achievement in developing knowledge skills and understanding (NCCA, 2007)
  24. 24. • Testing –focuses on what we “do” to the learners after instruction. Assessment – focuses on what we do “with” the learners before, during, and after learning. 24
  25. 25. assessment methods • Performances • Projects • Products • Paper and pen • Portfolios
  26. 26. Core Principles of Effective Assessment
  27. 27. Three interrelated objectives for quality in student assessment in higher education 1. Assessment that guides and encourages effective approaches to learning 2. Assessment that validly and reliably measures expected learning outcomes, in particular the higher-order learning that characterises higher education; and 3. Assessment and grading that define and protect academic standards
  28. 28. Well designed assessment should … 4.Set clear expectations; 5.Establish a reasonable workload (one that does not push students into rote reproductive approaches to study); and 6.Provide opportunities for students to self-monitor, rehearse, practice and receive feedback.
  29. 29. 16 INDICATORS OF EFFECTIVE ASSESSMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION 1. Assessment is treated by faculty and students as an integral component of the entire teaching and learning process. 2. The multiple roles of assessment are recognized. • The powerful motivating effect of assessment requirements on students is understood and assessment tasks are designed to foster valued study habits.
  30. 30. 16 INDICATORS OF EFFECTIVE ASSESSMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION (con’t) 3. There is a faculty/departmental policy that guides assessment practices. – Subject assessment is integrated into an overall plan for course assessment. 4. There is a clear alignment between expected learning outcomes, what is taught and learned, and the knowledge and skills assessed. 30
  31. 31. 16 INDICATORS OF EFFECTIVE ASSESSMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION (con’t) 5. Assessment tasks assess the capacity to analyse and synthesis new information and concepts rather than simply recall information which has been presented. 6. A variety of assessment methods is employed so that the limitations of particular methods are minimized.
  32. 32. 16 INDICATORS OF EFFECTIVE ASSESSMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION (con’t) 7. Assessment tasks are designed to assess relevant generic skills as well as subjectspecific knowledge and skills. 8. There is a steady progression in the complexity and demands of assessment requirements in the later years of courses. 9. There is provision for student choice in assessment tasks and weighting at certain times.
  33. 33. 16 INDICATORS OF EFFECTIVE ASSESSMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION (con’t) 10. Student and faculty workloads are considered in the scheduling and design of assessment tasks. 11. Excessive assessment is avoided. • Assessment tasks are designed to sample student learning. . 33
  34. 34. 16 INDICATORS OF EFFECTIVE ASSESSMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION (con’t) • 12. Assessment tasks are weighted to balance the developmental (‘formative’) and judgemental (‘summative’) roles of assessment. – Early low-stakes, low-weight assessment is used to provide students with feedback 34
  35. 35. 16 INDICATORS OF EFFECTIVE ASSESSMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION (con’t) 13. Grades are calculated and reported on the basis of clearly articulated learning outcomes and criteria for levels of achievement. 14. Students receive explanatory and diagnostic feedback as well as grades. 35
  36. 36. 16 INDICATORS OF EFFECTIVE ASSESSMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION (con’t) 15. Assessment tasks are checked to ensure there are no inherent biases that may disadvantage particular student groups. 16. Plagiarism is minimized through careful task design, explicit education and appropriate monitoring of academic honesty.
  37. 37. Assessment practices: Quality and standards
  38. 38. Assessment and the assurance of academic standards The assurance of academic standards embraces a wide range of university activities beyond the assessment of student learning. However, assessment and grading practices are perhaps the most important safeguard.
  39. 39. What can individual faculty do about standards? — 1 Ensure … … there are explicit learning outcomes, clear criteria and, where possible, statements of the various levels of achievement. With the objective of … students and faculty both being aware of what is expected, what is valued, and what will be rewarded.
  40. 40. What can individual faculty do about standards? — 2 Ensure … … a close match between the assessment tasks — in particular, the knowledge and skills these tasks are capable of determining — and the intended learning outcomes. With the objective of … creating assessment tasks that validly and reliably determine the valued learning outcomes.
  41. 41. What can individual faculty do about standards? — 3 Ensure … … the grades awarded (and other information provided to students on their achievement) make a direct link between the intended learning outcomes and students’ actual performance on assessment tasks. With the objective of … …awarding grades that are meaningful representations of the level of learning.
  42. 42. What can individual faculty do about standards? — 4 Ensure … … assessment tasks are capable of detecting the higher-order learning outcomes that characterize higher education. With the objective of … developing higher education assessment that determines and reports the highest intellectual skills and accomplishments.
  43. 43. What can individual faculty do about standards? — 5 Ensure … … there is ongoing dialogue on learning outcomes, assessment and grading with people teaching in the same discipline area in other universities. With the objective of … using assessment and grading practices that are informed by the norms and values of the discipline community.
  44. 44. Bloom’s Taxonomy of Instructional Objectives / Learning Outcomes Learning Domains – Cognitive • Learning outcomes related to knowledge – Psychomotor • Learning outcomes related to skills – Affective • Learning outcomes related to attitudes, behaviors, and values Taxonomies are based on the assumption that different types of objectives are learned through different mental processes.
  45. 45. Learning Domains Knowledge (HEAD) Cognitive Domain Attitudes (HEART) Affective domain Skills (HANDS) Psychomotor Domain 46
  46. 46. Bloom’s Taxonomy Level Verb Remembering: can the student recall or remember the information? define, duplicate, list, memorize, recall, repeat, reproduce state Understanding: can the student explain ideas or concepts? classify, describe, discuss, explain, identify, locate, recognize, report, select, translate, paraphrase Applying: can the student use the information in a new way? choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, schedule, sketch, solve, use, write. Analyzing: can the student distinguish between the different parts? appraise, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test. Evaluating: can the student justify a stand or decision? appraise, argue, defend, judge, select, support, value, evaluate Creating: can the student create new product or point of view? assemble, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, write.
  47. 47. Taxonomy for Teaching, Learning, and Assessing (A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives) The revised taxonomy is two-dimensional, identifying both: • the kind of knowledge to be learned (knowledge dimension) and • the kind of learning expected from students (cognitive processes) to help teachers and administrators improve alignment and rigor in the classroom.
  48. 48. Factual Knowledge • The basic elements students must know to be acquainted with a discipline or solve problems in it. • Knowledge of terminology – technical vocabulary, musical symbols , etc. • Knowledge of specific details and elements – major natural resources, reliable sources of information
  49. 49. Conceptual Knowledge • The interrelationships among the basic elements within a larger structure that enable them to function together. • Knowledge of classifications and categories – periods of geologic time • Knowledge of principles and generalizations – Pythagorean theorem, law of supply and demand • Knowledge of theories, models and structures – theory of evolution, structure of congress
  50. 50. Procedural Knowledge • How to do something, methods of inquiry, and criteria for using skills, algorithms, techniques, and methods. • Knowledge of subject-specific skills and algorithms – painting with watercolors, whole-number division • Knowledge of subject-specific techniques and methods – interviewing techniques, scientific method • Knowledge of criteria for determining when to use appropriate procedures – when to apply Newton's second law, when to use a particular method of estimation
  51. 51. Metacognitive Knowledge • Knowledge of cognition in general as well as awareness and knowledge of one's own cognition. • Strategic knowledge – outlining as a means of capturing the structure of a unit of subject matter in a textbook • Cognitive tasks – knowledge of the different types of tests, cognitive demands of different tasks • Self-knowledge – knowledge that critiquing essays is a personal strength, whereas writing essays is a personal weakness; awareness of one's own knowledge level
  52. 52. Matching Learning Outcomes to Assessment Types Types of Learning: Learning outcomes What is required from students? Examples of Assessment Thinking critically and making judgments Development of arguments, reflection, judgment, evaluation • Essay • Report • Book review Solving problems/developi ng plans Identify problems, define problems, analyze data, review, design experiments, plan, apply information • Problem scenario • Group Work • Work-based problem • Analyze a case • Conference paper (or notes for a conference paper plus annotated bibliography)
  53. 53. Matching Learning Outcomes to Assessment Types Types of Learning: Learning outcomes What is required from students? Examples of Assessment Performing procedures and demonstrating techniques Take readings, use equipment, follow laboratory procedures, follow protocols, carry out instructions • Demonstration • Role Play • Make a video (write script and produce/make a video) • Produce a poster • Lab report Demonstrating knowledge and understanding (can be assessed in conjunction with the above types of Recall, describe, report, identify, recognize, recount, relate, etc. • Written examination • Oral examination • MCQs • Essays
  54. 54. Matching Learning Outcomes to Assessment Types Types of Learning: Learning outcomes What is required from students? Examples of Assessment Managing/developing yourself Work co-operatively and, independently, be self-directed, manage time, manage tasks • Learning journal Portfolio • Learning Contracts • Self-evaluation • Group projects • Peer assessment Designing, creating, performing Design, create, perform, produce, etc. • • • • Design project Portfolio Presentation Performance
  55. 55. Matching Learning Outcomes to Assessment Types Types of Learning: Learning outcomes What is required from students? Examples of Assessment Assessing and managing information Information search and retrieval, investigate, interpret, review information • Annotated bibliographies • Use of bibliographic software • Library research assignment • Data based project Communicating Written, oral, visual and technical skills • Written presentation • Oral presentation • Discussions /Debates/ role plays • Group work
  56. 56. Constructing Objective Type Tests
  57. 57. Planning a Test • First step: Outline learning objectives or major concepts to be covered by the test – Test should be representative of objectives and material covered – Major student complaint: Tests don’t fairly cover the material that was supposed to be canvassed on the test.
  58. 58. Planning a Test • Second Step: Create a test blueprint • Third Step: Create questions based on blueprint – Match the question type with the appropriate level of learning • Fourth Step: For each check on the blueprint, jot down 3-4 alternative question on ideas and item types which will get at the same objective • Fifth Step: Organize questions and/or ideas by item types
  59. 59. Planning a Test • Sixth Step: Eliminate similar questions • Seventh Step: Walk away from this for a couple of days • Eighth Step: Reread all of the items – try doing this from the standpoint of a student
  60. 60. Planning a Test • Ninth Step: Organize questions logically • Tenth Step: Time yourself actually taking the test and then multiply that by about 4 depending on the level of students • Eleventh Step: Analyze the results (item analyses)
  61. 61. Selecting the Right Type of Test • How do you know what type of question to use and when? • It depends on the skill you are testing. • Test should always match as closely as possible the actual activity you’re teaching. – Examples: Teaching Speech, should evaluate an oral speech – If testing ability to write in Spanish, better give an essay. – Testing reading –MC, TF – Wouldn’t use MC to test creative writing
  62. 62. Question Types and Cognitive Levels of Learning Knowledge Comprehension Application Multiple Choice (MC) True/False (TF) Matching Completion Short Answer MC Short Answer Problems Essay Performance Analysis Synthesis Evaluation MC Short Answer Essay
  63. 63. Constructing the Test • Types of Test Questions: – – – – – Multiple-Choice Items True-False Items Matching Items Fill-In, Completion or Short-Answer Items Essay Questions
  64. 64. Selecting Objectives for Assessment • Test all of the must-know objectives, test some need-toknow, and don't test nice-to-knows. • A must-know objective - one which students have to know to go on to the next objective in the sequence • It is the last time the objective will be taught in the scope and sequence and the student cannot finish the course or go on to the next course, without knowing or being able to do what the objective requires.
  65. 65. • Need-to-know objectives are those where the students need to know this content to perform within the sequence but the content will be re-taught or reviewed prior to the student using the objective again. • Nice-to-know objectives are those that the students are to be exposed to but very few are expected to learn much about it. • When the specifications have been developed the next step is construction of the text items.
  66. 66. Table of Specifications or Test Blueprint Matrix which contains:  a) objectives being tested  b) levels at which those objectives should be tested, according to Bloom's Taxonomy, or others .  c) amount of time which was spent teaching the objective  Objectives should never be tested at a higher Bloom's level than the objective that is presented to the students.  The number of items used should relate to the amount of teaching time spent on the objectives.  The more time the greater number of items.
  67. 67. • BEFORE I END ….
  68. 68. "For as long as assessment is viewed as something we do 'after' teaching and learning are over, we will fail to greatly improve student performance, regardless of how well or how poorly students are currently taught or motivated." -- Grant Wiggins, 1998
  69. 69. Assessment is not enough • We can’t consider assessment separately from teaching and learning processes. All are about informing judgment. • Alignment between and integration of learning activities is needed • Choosing assessment practices chooses what students will learn
  70. 70. FINALLY
  71. 71. 73
  72. 72. Final thought Why teach to testing when it is so productive to teach to learning? Guy Bensusan
  73. 73. References • • • • • • • • • • Boud, D. (1995). Enhancing Learning through Self Assessment. London: Kogan Page. Boud, D. (2000). Sustainable assessment: rethinking assessment for the learning society. Studies in Continuing Education, 22, 2, 151-167. Boud, D. and Falchikov, N. (2006). Aligning assessment with long term learning, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 31, 4, 399-413. Boud, D. and Falchikov, N. (Eds.) (2007) Rethinking Assessment in Higher Education: Learning for the Longer Term. London: Routledge. Absolum, M. (2006). Clarity in the classroom. Auckland: Hodder Education. pp 98-117. Andrade H. and Valtcheva, A. (2009). Promoting Learning and Achievement through Self Assessment, Theory into Practice, Vol 48 pp 12-19. Topping, K.J. (2009), Peer Assessment, Theory into Practice, Vol 48 pp 20-27. Wiliam, D. When is assessment learning-oriented? 4th Biennial EARLI/Northumbria Assessment Conference, Potsdam, Germany, August 2008. alchikov, N. (2005). Improving Assessment through Student Involvement. London: Routledge. How assessment frames student learning. In Clegg, K. and Bryan, C. (Eds.) Innovative Assessment in Higher Education. London: Routledge.
  74. 74. Thank You 76