Educational Assessment

Assessments by Design: Rethinking Assessment for Learner Variability – Faculty Focus – Education Article

As the clock seems to race through the final minutes of an exam, several students frantically scan questions and fill in bubbles to demonstrate their knowledge and content mastery of biology concepts. Elsewhere, a small group of students collaborate on a PowerPoint presentation, preparing to showcase their business management knowledge they’ve acquired. Still elsewhere, students review their essays for grammar and formatting before final submissions, with which they hope to show how much they’ve learned about the socio-political impact of…

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Good Questions for Better Essay Prompts (and Papers) – Education Article

Most professors would admit that they’ve found themselves frustrated when grading papers. Yes, sometimes those frustrations might stem from students ignoring your clear, strategic, and explicit instructions, but more often, I’d argue, “bad” papers are a result of how and what we’re asking of students, and how well we really understand our goals for them. Further, we often struggle to strike a balance between providing too much information and too little, and placing ourselves in a novice’s shoes is difficult.…

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Using Interviews to Assess and Mentor Students – Education Article

Have you considered adding five-minute student interviews to your teaching tool kit? Before you calculate how long it would take to interview all of your students and dismiss this idea out-of-hand, consider how student interviews provide a unique setting and opportunity for you to teach students individually. Extensive research confirms the value of student-teacher interactions. Sandy Astin’s widely acclaimed What Matters in College reports that interaction between student and faculty has “significant positive correlations with every academic attainment outcome: college…

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Course Design: Aligning Learning Expectations, Instruction, and Assessment – Education Article

I found the article, “Testing and Assessment: Looking in the Wrong Places” by Dr. Caristi (Faculty Focus, 11 Sept. 2019) interesting.  But, if I am interpreting his arguments correctly, I must kindly disagree with his conclusion that we must do away with testing as one form of assessment.  The second part of his title is correct, “Looking in the Wrong Places,” in that we are only examining one component of the process of instructional (or course) design, and that is…

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To Teach to the Test or Not – Education Article

There has been a long discussion within our college about whether or not teaching to the test is appropriate. Of course, the test that we mean is the TExES Principal as Instructional Leader (268) exam, which is in the process of becoming more rigorous and interactive. As explained on the website of the Texas Educator Certification Program (2018), “This full-length practice exam contains 91 selected-response questions as well as four sample constructed-response questions. The interactive practice exam provides candidates with…

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Contested Grades and the “You Earned It” Retort – Education Article

A common rhetorical move we professors make when students object to a grade is to reframe the discussion. We’ll say, “Let’s be clear. I didn’t give you this grade. You earned it.” And if it were appropriate we might underscore our zinger with a smugly snapped Z. But stop and think about it. When we make the “you earned it” move, it’s simply an attempt to shift the debate away from the fairness or interpretation of our standard and onto…

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Assessment for Learning: It Just Makes Sense – Faculty Focus – Education Article

Assessment for Learning (AfL), sometimes referred to as “formative assessment” has become part of the educational landscape in the U.S. and is heralded to significantly raise student achievement, yet we are often uncertain what it is and what it looks like in practice in higher education. To clarify, AfL includes the formal and informal processes that faculty and students use during instruction to gather evidence for the purpose of improving learning. The aim of AfL is to improve students’ mastery…

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