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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*

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3.  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.
  4. 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.
  5. Systematic inquiry and intellectual challenge are powerful sources of motivation, growth, and renewal for college teachers, and classroom assessment can provide such challenge.
  6. Classroom assessment does not require specialized training; it can be carried out by dedicated teachers from all disciplines.
  7. By collaborating with colleagues and actively involving students in classroom assessment efforts, faculty (and students) enhance learning and personal satisfaction.

Classroom Assessment Resources

*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