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Assessment in General Terms. Dwight D. Harley, Ph.D . Division of Studies in Medical Education. Learning, Teaching and Assessment.

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assessment in general terms

Assessment in General Terms

Dwight D. Harley, Ph.D.

Division of Studies in Medical Education

learning teaching and assessment
Learning, Teaching and Assessment

“Both assessment and instruction ought to reflect significant, agreed on goals for students. Assessments should measure important, classroom objectives; assessment results should represent how students perform on broad knowledge and skills domain reflected by those objectives; and classroom instruction should provide students with the opportunity to learn and attain the knowledge and skills.”

J. Herman, 1992

  • Primary focus of all educational activity
  • Self-active process
  • Learner effort and activity is necessary
  • Activity component differentiates learning from developmental growth or maturation
  • Primary purpose of teaching is to foster learning
  • Successfully achieve instructional outcomes and learning outcomes
  • Outcomes must be clearly articulated and understood
  • Many different functions and forms
  • Without assessment there is no adequate way to determine the value or effectiveness of learning
  • Fundamental to student learning and must be an integral part of the educational process
linking assessment to objectives
Linking Assessment to Objectives
  • Assessment must be aligned with curriculum
  • Only be achieved when assessment and instruction are linked to common, significant learning outcomes
off on a tangent
Off On A Tangent

“Many people continually pursue excellence but are at the same time opposed to or are in fear of evaluation and assessment. However only through clarifying purpose, measuring and judging the impact of action can excellence be determined.”

G. Glass, 1975

a basic definition
A Basic Definition
  • Atest is an instrument or systematic procedure for collecting quality data to support a sound decision making process.
decisions served by testing
Decisions Served by Testing
  • Instructional
  • Grading
  • Diagnostic
  • Selection
  • Placement
  • Counseling /guidance decisions
  • Evaluation and Administration
  • Research
g eneral p rinciples of a ssessment
  • Clearly specify what is to be assessed.
  • Select assessment procedures on the basis of their relevance to the learning objectives.
  • Use a variety of assessment procedures.
  • Be aware of limitations.
  • Use information effectively and appropriately.
in terms of test items
In Terms of Test Items
  • Test items must
    • have direct links with instruction
    • assess important and relevant learning outcomes
a test blueprin t
A Test Blueprint
  • Links assessment and instructional objectives
  • Identifies the objectives and skills to be tested and their relative weights
  • aka Table of Specifications or TOS
at its simples t
At its Simplest
  • A blueprint …
    • Is a graphic organizer that relates learning objectives to intended domains
    • Lists instructional objectives on its vertical axis and taxonomic levels of one or more appropriate taxonomies on the horizontal axis
    • Can be as simple as a list of learning objectives and their relative weight or importance
an simple illustration
An Simple Illustration…
  • You have a course of 36 one-hour lectures on dinosaurs. The objectives are:
    • Students will be able to describe the rise and fall of the dinosaurs – their evolutionary history.
    • Students will be able to classify dinosaurs into their classes and sub-classes, on the basis of sketches
the illustration continued
The illustration continued
  • Students will explain the ecology by which herbivorous and carnivorous animals co-existed
  • Students will have a general knowledge of the geography of the earth during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods
weight each objective
Weight each objective
  • Evolutionary history
  • Identification
  • Ecology
  • Paleogeography





If you have a 100 item MCQ…

  • 40 questions on evolutionary history
  • 30 questions on identification
  • 20 questions on ecology
  • 10 questions on paleogeography
  • With items to be distributed across the lecture hours
knowledge comprehension
  • Knowledge
    • Remembering information
    • List, define, describe, identify, name, quote, when, where, label, match, reproduce, outline, select
  • Comprehension
    • Ability to grasp the meaning of material
    • Summarize, infer, estimate, predict, convert, defend, discuss, differentiate, contrast, extend, translate
  • Use learned material in new and concrete situations
  • Application of rules, methods, concepts, laws, theories, principles
    • Apply, demonstrate, calculate, complete, solve examine, modify, classify, relate, produce, show, prepare, use, change, discover, manipulate, operate
the hots
  • Higher Order Thinking Skills
  • Critical thinking
    • Analysis
    • Synthesis
    • Evaluation
  • Analysis – break down material into its components to understand structure
  • Identification of parts, analysis of relationships between parts, recognition of the organizational principles involved
  • Analyze separate, order, explain, connect, classify, arrange, explain, infer
  • Put parts together to form a new whole.
  • Use old to create new, writes a new speech or essay, formulates a new classification scheme
  • Categorize, combine, compile, compose, create, devise, design, plan, rearrange
  • Judge the value of material
  • Compare and discriminate between ideas, make choices based on reasoned argument, verify value of evidence, recognize subjectivity
  • Appraise, compare, conclude, contrast, assess, support, justify, judge, measure, recommend, convince
  • The more thoughtful and carefully worked out the objectives, the more the blueprint will reflect the course content and the fairer will be the examination.
  • If we don’t have a blueprint, we test what is easy to test, and the result will be of doubtful validity.
e valuating a t est s core
  • The scores need to be reliable, that is “Does the test yield the same or similar scores consistently?”
  • The scores need to be valid, that is “Are we measuring what we think we are measuring?”
  • If a score is not reliable it cannot be valid.
r eliability v alidity

Figure 3:

Figure 1:

Figure 2:

Reliable and Valid

Neither Valid nor Reliable

Reliable but not Valid

g eneral g uidelines
  • Items should have direct links with instruction and assess important and relevant learning outcomes.
  • Design items which test for the application of knowledge rather than knowledge of isolated facts.
  • Design items that are commensurate with student’s level of education and experience.
  • Design items to test knowledge that is required for subsequent education.
follow the blueprint
Follow the Blueprint
  • Blueprints are essential…
    • to plan the content of an examination to ensure that different domains are tested equitably and that the balance of subject areas tested is fair
    • to establish and ensure content validity
and finally
And finally ..
  • Blueprints are important because

If you don’t know where you’re going, then any road will take you there.

Lewis Carroll From Alice in Wonderland