Module
Materials

Your assessments are a range of tools and methods used to monitor and evaluate the academic readiness, learning progress, knowledge, skill and attitude acquisition of your students at various stages in the learning sequence.

Assessments are a preoccupation for Instructors and students alike. For the Instructor, it is a means of measuring student progress and providing feedback on whether or not your learning outcomes have been met. For the student, it defines the curriculum because it indicates what the Instructor values.

Research1,2 shows that students will approach their learning based on how they will be graded, not on how they are taught. For this reason, Instructors should dedicate time and attention to developing an assessment plan that intentionally promotes learning of the desired outcomes.

Course Design thumbnail

There are two main types of assessments.

Informal assessment, also referred to as formative assessment, is ongoing throughout the semester, used strictly to provide feedback on student learning, and does not make up part of the student’s grade.

Formal assessment, also referred to as summative assessment, takes place at designated times in the semester to measure competence, and usually contributes to a student’s grade.

This module is primarily concerned with summative assessment to help you plan your grading strategy for the course.

This module will take you through a series of assessment design best practices to guide your assessment planning process. The module consists of five sections,  a summary review that you can download for your convenience, and an Assessment Planning completion task.

The next section will:

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • Design appropriate and effective assessments that align with course learning outcomes;
  • Establish grading criteria for your assessments;
  • Create a balanced assessment plan for your course.
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References

1Miller, C. M. I., & Parlett, M. (1974). Up to the Mark: a study of the examination game. Guildford:

Society for Research into Higher Education. As cited in Gibbs G. and Simpson C.(2004) Conditions Under Which Assessment Supports Students’ Learning. Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, (1), 3-31.

2Snyder, B. R. (1971). The Hidden Curriculum: Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. As cited in Gibbs G. and Simpson C.(2004) Conditions Under Which Assessment Supports Students’ Learning. Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, (1), 3-31.