Course Assessment Toolbox
Course-level assessment is a process of systematically examining and refining the fit between the course activities and what students should know at the end of the course. It involves both formative and summative assessment of student learning. The most effective course assessment is done throughout the semester, provides opportunities for low-stakes, formative assessment, and is based in authentic demonstrations of a student's learning.
The Seven Basic Assumptions of Classroom Assessment*
- The quality of student learning is directly, although not exclusively, related to the quality of teaching. Therefore, one of the most promising ways to improve learning is to improve teaching.
- To improve their effectiveness, teachers need first to make their goals and objectives explicit and then need to get specific, comprehensible feedback on the extent to which they are achieving those goals and objectives.
- To improve their learning, students need to receive appropriate and focused feedback early and often; they also need to learn how to assess their own learning.
- The type of assessment most likely to improve teaching and learning is that conducted by faculty to answer questions they themselves have formulated in response to issues or problems in their own teaching.
- Systematic inquiry and intellectual challenge are powerful sources of motivation, growth, and renewal for college teachers, and classroom assessment can provide such challenge.
- Classroom assessment does not require specialized training; it can be carried out by dedicated teachers from all disciplines.
- By collaborating with colleagues and actively involving students in classroom assessment efforts, faculty (and students) enhance learning and personal satisfaction.
Classroom Assessment Resources
- Developing Course-Level Student Learning Outcomes
- This guide will take you through a step-by-step process to create effective course learning outcomes.
- What is Formative and Summative Assessment
- Provides an overview of formative and summative classroom assessment and gives examples of assessments mapped to Bloom's Taxonomy.
- Developing Classroom Assessment Techniques and the CAT KIT
- Provides a step-by-step process for developing classroom assessments. The CAT KIT details six assessments and discusses how to develop them for your own needs and how to use the data. Examples of assessments are provided.
*Angelo, T. A., & Cross, K. P. (1993). Classroom assessment techniques: A handbook for college teachers (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, p. 7-11
Conduct a Mid-Semester Check-In
Mid-semester feedback provides instructors with practical and actionable insights about what is working in a course as well as recommendations for improving learning and teaching. You can adapt the Mid-Semester check-in forms for use in your courses.
- Mid-Semester Check-In Short Form
- Mid-Semester Check-In Long Form
- Student Feedback Tips (for students)
Improve Learning with Authentic Assessment!
Move away from multiple choice and memorization, improve learning, and limit academic dishonesty with authentic assessment! Authentic Assessment requires application of course knowledge to a new situation, focusing on complex, real-world situations that require a student to think about application of knowledge and skills in society rather than just in the classroom.
Learn more about Authentic Assessment
Support for Course Assessment
If you need support developing course learning outcomes or assessment you can set up a personal consultation with the CETL.