Once you’ve designed your learning outcomes, it is time to determine how you will measure the attainment of these outcomes. There are multiple ways to assess whether or not students have learned what you intended for them to learn. The most important thing to keep in mind about assessment, however, is that its purpose is to help students learn. Here is a good article about how to design assessment that supports worthwhile learning –
Quizzes can be used both summative and formative assessments. Here is an article that we like with suggestions for five quiz types.
The syllabus is the place where you document and communicate your Learning Outcomes, Assessments, educational philosophy, and expectations for learners. We use The Course Syllabus: A Learning-Centered Approach by Grunert O’Brien, Millis and Cohen. Using this book, we’ve built an online learning module for faculty, to help you make your syllabus the most impactful for student learning: https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/977510
Summative Assessment is what we call the end-of-the-unit test, mid-term, or final exam. However, summative assessments don’t always have to be tests. In fact, when is the last time anyone produced answers to a test as part of their job? Meanwhile, at work people have to produce all sorts of things, which we can ask students to do in their course work to better prepare them for life after college.
Formative Assessment describes the type of less-formal assessments instructors should give all throughout the semester to gauge whether or not students are learning the intended material, and make adjustments to future instruction based on the results of each formative assessment. Our favorite book for guiding formative assessment is Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers by Angelo and Cross.
We’ve built an online learning module for faculty, to help them learn eight Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) that are applicable to all Mines classrooms. If you don’t have the book, this is a great place to start.
Additional information about Formative Assessment and Classroom Assessment Techniques are available here.
Here are some resources to help you think about designing or redesigning a course of study:
- Integrated Course Design
- Designing and Teaching Courses to Satisfy the ABET Engineering Criteria by Richard M. Felder and Rebecca Brent
The process of designing learning by thinking of your learning outcomes and assessments first, and then designing the opportunities for learning including projects, tasks, lectures, and assignments is called Backwards Design.
We’ve developed the following online learning module to help you think about how best to create the learning outcomes for your course of study. It is designed to take about an hour of your time, and will guide you in revising or creating new learning outcomes. https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/976907
Here is a quicker tool to help you think about writing learning outcomes –
A Primer on Writing Effective Learning-Centered Course Goals