Assessments: Of the Teacher and the Students
In a teaching and learning community, the most effective evaluation is that which encourages and rewards effective teaching practices on the basis of student learning outcomes.
Assessment of student learning enables students to identify their own strengths and weaknesses and to determine the kinds of information they need to correct their learning deficiencies and misconceptions. When such evaluation is properly put into action, students learn that they can engage in self-assessment and continuous improvement of performance throughout their lives.
Assessment is more than just marks
To most people assessment means the process of marking students. But it actually means much more than just this. Assessment is a mechanism for providing instructors with data for improving their teaching methods and for guiding and motivating students to be actively involved in their own learning. As such, assessment provides important feedback to both instructors and students. One should continuously learn from the results of these assessments.
Assessment is Feedback for Both Instructors and Students
Assessment gives us essential information about what our students are learning and about the extent to which we are meeting our teaching goals. It is useful for both the teacher and the student. But the true power of assessment comes in also using it to give feedback to our students. Improving the quality of learning in our courses involves determining to what extent students have mastered course content at the end of the course.
Examining student learning: Assessment of the outcome
Outcome assessment enables teachers to determine what students know and can do as a result of instruction in a course module, an entire course, or a sequence of courses. This information can be used to indicate to students how successfully they have mastered the course content they are expected to learn. It can also be used to provide teachers with guidance for improving instruction, course content, and curricular structure.
Activities to help in Assessment
Developing expected student learning outcomes for an individual subject, including laboratory skills.
Determining the point in a student’s education at which he/she should develop the specified set of knowledge and skills.
Selecting or developing appropriate assessment strategies to test students in the specified set of knowledge and skills.
Using the results from assessment to provide feedback to individual students and to improve curriculum and instruction methods.
Adjusting expected learning outcomes if appropriate and assessing learning again. Such a process can lead to continual improvement of curriculum and instruction.
This article is inspired by and contains excerpts from the book ‘Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics’. Read the original here.