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Assessing Student learning. Jason Adsit – University at Buffalo. Some Trends and Topics. Internal and external pressures to develop a “culture of assessment” in higher education Shift from a focus on teaching to a focus on student learning. Assessment: A Simple Definition.

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assessing student learning

Assessing Student learning

Jason Adsit – University at Buffalo

some trends and topics
Some Trends and Topics
  • Internal and external pressures to develop a “culture of assessment” in higher education
  • Shift from a focus on teaching to a focus on student learning
assessment a simple definition
Assessment: A Simple Definition
  • Ewell (2001): The methods that an institution or program employs to gather evidence about student learning.
assessment a common definition
Assessment: A Common Definition
  • The process of collecting and analyzing information from multiple sources in order to develop a better understanding of what students know, believe, and are able to do as a result of their educational experiences.
the assessment process suskie 2009
The Assessment Process (Suskie, 2009)
  • Establishing clear, well-formulated learning outcomes
  • Ensuring that students have sufficient opportunities to achieve the learning outcomes (through coursework, projects, examinations, etc.)
the assessment process suskie 20091
The Assessment Process (Suskie, 2009)
  • Systematically gathering and analyzing evidence and results to determine how well the students have achieved the expected outcomes
  • Using the results to better understand and improve the teaching-learning process
background overview
Background & Overview
  • Goals, Objectives, and Outcomes: What’s the difference?
  • What is a learning outcome?
  • Why are learning outcomes important?
  • What are the core elements of a learning outcome?
why are learning outcomes important
Why are learning outcomes important?
  • Help foster curricular coherence by connecting classroom activities and assessment
    • Guide instructional planning – content, delivery, and activities/assignments
    • Guide the learner – set priorities and performance expectations
    • Guide evaluation – establish a framework (and set of benchmarks) for assessing learning
what is a learning outcome

What is a Learning Outcome?

Clarifying the muddle of terms…

what is a learning objective
What is a learning objective?
  • Goals
  • Aims
  • Standards
  • Objectives
  • Performance Criteria
  • Benchmarks
  • Measures
  • Etc., etc.
what is a learning outcome3
What is a learning outcome?
  • Clarifying the terminology:

University

School

Program/Major

Course

Unit/Lesson

what is a learning outcome4
What is a learning outcome?

Goal

Outcome

  • A statement of the intended general aims of an instructional unit, course, or program
  • Global, general
  • Not necessarily measureable
  • A statement that describes what the learner is expected to know and be able to do as a result of engaging in a learning activity
  • Specific, targeted
  • Measurable
core elements of a learning outcome
Core elements of a learning outcome
  • Learning outcome: A statement (in specific and measureable terms) that describes what the learner will know and be able to do as a result of engaging in a learning activity
core elements of a learning outcome1
Core elements of a learning outcome
  • Learning outcome: A statement (in specific and measureable terms) that describes what the learner will know and be able to do as a result of engaging in a learning activity
core elements of a learning outcome2
Core elements of a learning outcome
  • Learning outcome: A statement …
goals vs outcomes
Goals vs. Outcomes

Goal 1

Outcome 1.1

  • At the end of the workshop, participants will understand the role and importance of learning objectives
  • Given a list of ten (10) statements, participants will be able to identify how each statement corresponds to Bloom’s taxonomy of cognitive behavior. Participants who correctly identify nine (9) or more statements will demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the topic
core elements of a learning outcome3
Core elements of a learning outcome
  • Learning outcome: A statement (in specific and measureable terms) …
  • Measurable vs. Non-Measurable Terms
core elements of a learning outcome4
Core elements of a learning outcome
  • Learning outcome: A statement (in specific and measureable terms) that describes what the learner will know and be able to do …
  • Come to think of it, what is it that we want the learner to know and be able to do?
classifying outcomes
Classifying Outcomes
  • Bloom (1956) – Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (“Bloom’s Taxonomy”)
    • Cognitive Domain – intellectual thinking or skills
    • Psychomotor Domain – physical skills or the performance of actions
    • Affective Domain – attitudes and values
  • Learning outcome domains
    • “Knowledge, skills, and dispositions”
core elements of learning outcomes
Core elements of learning outcomes
  • Example: At the end of this statistics lesson, students will be know about the concepts of mean, median, and mode
  • How would you turn this into a learning outcome?
  • What changes might you make to the outcome to assess higher levels of learning (from Bloom’s taxonomy)?
core elements of learning outcomes1
Core elements of learning outcomes
  • Example: At the end of this class, students will understand and appreciate the role of the pharmacist in the community
  • How would you turn this into a learning outcome?
  • What changes might you make to the outcome to assess higher levels of learning (from Bloom’s taxonomy)?
core elements of learning outcomes2
Core elements of learning outcomes
  • Example: At the end of this unit, students will know about the causes of poverty in Africa
  • How would you turn this into a learning outcome?
  • What changes might you make to the outcome to assess higher levels of learning (from Bloom’s taxonomy)?
core elements of learning outcomes3
Core elements of learning outcomes
  • Learning outcome: A statement (in specific and measureable terms) that describes what the learner will know and be able to do as a result of engaging in a learning activity
learning activities
Learning Activities
  • Reverse-engineering your instruction:
    • Identify the learning outcomes
    • Identify the appropriate learning activities – and tailor them to the outcomes
    • Identify the appropriate assessments of student learning