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Assessing What Your Students Know, Want to Know, and Have Learned

Measuring student success is a top priority to ensure the best possible student outcomes. Through the years instructors have implemented new and creative strategies to assess student learning in both traditional and online higher education classrooms. Assessments can range from formative assessments, which monitor student learning with quick, efficient, and frequent checks on learning; to summative assessments, which evaluate student learning with “high stakes” exams, projects, and papers at the end of a unit or term.


Recent Seminars


Grading Strategies to Promote Student & Faculty Success

When you give your grading as much care and attention as you give the rest of your course design components, you will start to see improvements in student performance and experience greater personal satisfaction in teaching. Learn how to make positive changes to your grading strategies and tactics.

video Online Seminar • Recorded on Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Five Ways to Build e-Learner Confidence with Low-Stakes Grading

Frequent low-stakes grading assignments and quizzes create a rich learning experience for all students, and give instructors more opportunities to clarify materials or address issues that are inhibiting learning. This seminar demonstrates how this approach can demystify assessment and encourage a constructive learning environment.

audio Online Seminar • Recorded on Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Student Self-Assessment: A Sample Assignment

For me examples are like pictures; worth a 1,000 words. In the previous post I wrote about the need to intervene in the development of student self-assessment skills, leaving the process less to chance and making it more the result of purposeful intervention. At a recent Teaching Professor Workshop, I saw an assignment that illustrates that kind of intervention. It was from a 100-level, Introduction to U.S. Government course, but is adaptable to any course. The assignment has two parts and they are the first and last pieces of work students complete in the course.


Creating a Campus Culture That Values Assessment

It is only a slight exaggeration to say that resistance to educational assessment comes from almost as many different sources as there are assessment tools, but in the end the reasons usually all boil down to three main issues:

  1. Lack of understanding of the value and importance of assessment
  2. Lack of resources to engage in assessment
  3. Fear of change and risk taking

Short Answer Questions: A Great Middle Ground

Stronger than multiple choice, yet not quite as revealing (or time consuming to grade) as the essay question, the short answer question offers a great middle ground – the chance to measure a student’s brief composition of facts, concepts, and attitudes in a paragraph or less.


Improving Your Assessment Processes: Q&A with Linda Suskie

It’s a new year, but the same old challenges exist. Given today’s financial challenges, colleges and universities are all working harder than ever to be careful stewards of limited resources and to demonstrate their effectiveness to stakeholders, constituents, and the public.


Effective Strategies for Reducing Test Anxiety

I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. After 10 years of teaching, I finally realize why students get so nervous about exams. It’s because taking an exam is a performance. It’s just like American Idol , when they are doing the first round of auditions. You can have great natural ability and sound terrific, but when the spotlight shines down as you stand in front of the judges and the TV cameras, can you make it happen?


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