Assessing Student Learning in Higher Education

Section 1
 Introduction

Section 2
 
Background and Rationale for Assessment

Section 3
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Section 4
 Assessment Tools and Data
 Quality Data
 Defining Terms
Assessment Tools
 Grades & Assessment
Primary Trait Analysis
 Rubrics
Selecting the Tools Answers
Creating the Tool
Quiz
Your SLOs

Section 5
Course Assessment

Section 6
Program Assessment

 

Section 7
Closing the Loop
 

Section 8
Implementing Assessment Training on Campus

 

Section 9
References & Resources


Definitions

Workbook


Using Materials from this Website

Choosing the Right Assessment Tools Part 2 - Answers

Assessment Tool Data
Direct
or Indirect
Domain
Cognitive,
Psychomotor,
or Affective
Formative
or Summative
Bloom's
Knowledge,
Comprehension,
Application or
Analysis/
Synthesis/Eval
   

Abbreviation

D or I

C, P or A

F or S

K, C, A, ASE

Pros

Cons

Multiple Choice Exam

 D

 C

 F & S

K, C if carefully constructed A, S, & E

easy to grade
objective

reduces assessment to multiple choice answers

Licensing Exams

 D

 C

 S

K, C, A

easy to score and compare

no authentic testing, may outdate 

Standardized Cognitive Tests

 D

 C

 S

K, C, A?

comparable between students

heavily dependent on exposure to topics on test 

Checklists

 D

 C, A, P

  F, S

variable 
 

very useful for skills or performances

students know exactly what is missing

can minimize large picture and interrelatedness
Evaluation feedback is basically a yes/no - present/absent - without detail

Essay

 D

 C, A

  F, S

K, C, A, ASE

-displays analytical and synthetic thinking well

time consuming to grade, can be subjective

Case Study

 D

 C, A

  F, S

K, C, A, ASE

-displays analytical and synthetic thinking well
-connects other knowledge to topic

creating the case is time consuming, dependent on student knowledge form multiple areas

Problem Solving

 D

 C

  F, S

K, C, A, ASE

 displays analytical and synthetic thinking well
authentic if real world situations are used

difficult to grade due to multiple methods and potential multiple solutions

Oral Speech

 D

 C

  F, S

 variable

K, C, A, ASE

easily graded with rubric
allows other students to see and learn what each student learned
connects general education goals with discipline-specific courses

difficult for ESL students
stressful for students
takes course time

must fairly grade course content beyond delivery
 

Debate

 D

 C, A

  F, S

K, C, A, ASE

provides immediate feedback to the student
reveals thinking and ability to respond based on background knowledge and critical thinking ability

requires good rubric
more than one evaluator is helpful
difficult for ESL students
stressful for students
takes course time

Product Creation & Special Reports

 D

 C, P, A

  F, S

 variable
K, C, A, ASE

students can display skills. knowledge, and abilities in a way that is suited to them

must have clearly defined criteria and evaluative measures
"the look" can not over-ride the content

Flowchart or Diagram

 D

 C

  F, S

 C, A, ASE

displays original synthetic thinking on the part of the student
perhaps the best way to display overall high level thinking and articulation abilities
 

more difficult to grade, requiring a checklist or rubric for a variety of different answers
difficult for some students to do on the spot

Portfolios

 D

 C, P

 S

 variable

provides the students with a clear record of their work and growth
best evidence of growth and change over time
students can display skills. knowledge, and abilities in a way that is suited to them
promotes self-assessment

time consuming to grade
different content in portfolio makes evaluating difficult and may require training
bulky to manage depending on size

Exit Surveys

 D, I

 A

 S

 ASE

provides good summative data
easy to manage data if Likert-scaled responses are used

Likert scales limit feedback, open-ended responses are bulky to manage,

Performance

 D

 C, P

  F, S

variable
K, C, A, ASE

provides best display of skills and abilities
provides excellent opportunity for peer review
students can display skills. knowledge, and abilities in a way that is suited to them

stressful for students
may take course time
some students may take the evaluation very hard - evaluative statements must be carefully framed

Capstone project or course

 D

 C, P , A

  F, S

 ASE

best method to measure growth overtime with regards to a course or program - cumulative

focus and breadth of assessment are important
understanding all the variables to produce assessment results is also important
may result in additional course requirements
requires coordination and agreement on standards

Team Project

 D

 C, A

  F, S

 variable
K, C, A, ASE

connects general education goals with discipline-specific courses

must fairly grade individuals as well as team 
grading is slightly more complicated
student interaction may be a challenge

Reflective self- assessment essay

 D, I

 C, A

 S

 ASE

provides invaluable ability to evaluate affective growth in students

must use evidence to support conclusions, not just self-opinionated assessment

Satisfaction and Perception Surveys

 I

 C, P, A

 S

 C, A, ASE

provides good indirect data
data can be compared longitudinally
can be used to determine outcomes over a long period of time

respondents may be influenced by factors other than those being considered

validity and reliability most be closely watched

Please send  email me comments to this table. The answers are very dependent upon the assessment as you define it. However, this table shows the usefulness of a variety of assessment strategies other than exams.

Proceed to creating your assessment tools

 

Janet Fulks
Assessing Student Learning in Community Colleges (2004), Bakersfield College
jfulks@bakersfieldcollege.edu    
07/11/2006

 

Selecting the Tools