Assessment appendix

In this appendix you will find a collection of additional tools and resources related to assessment.

1. Bloom’s Taxonomy of learning levels

Bloom’s Taxonomy is the most widely used approach for describing levels of learning, from low-level recall of facts to high-level evaluation and synthesis.  It is difficult to develop an appropriate assessment without a clear idea of the level of learning that was intended.

2. Constructive Alignment

Constructive alignment refers to the deliberate coordination of assessments and learning activities to align with each other and with intended learning outcomes.

3. The “Testing Effect”

Assessment is not just a check of whether a student should pass a course.  Through what is known as the “testing effect,” learning research has shown that students retain more and they are better judges of their learning when assessment is part of the learning process.  Put another way, the careful use of assessment in a course makes learning both more efficient and deeper for students.

4. Rubrics

Rubrics describe assessment criteria across different performance levels using clear evidence-based descriptors.  Rubrics communicate the performance objectives of learning activities to both students and graders, they efficiently communicate feedback on performance to students, and the increase the validity and reliability of assessment.

5. Multiple choice questions

Often dismissed as only appropriate for assessing low-level learning, multiple choice questions are actual far more versatile, and can be used even for assessing some higher-level learning.  Multiple choice also offers distinct advantages with online assessment, through the ability to generate large numbers of questions and randomly assign sub-sets of those to students.  The material here provides some ideas for adapting multiple choice to a range of learning levels.

6. An easy to mark high-level question format

This novel question format can be used to simplify grading to key-style marking (no grader judgement required) while requiring students to exercise high-level thinking (i.e., analysis, evaluation, and judgement).

7. Academic Integrity Pledge

Suggestions on preparing an academic integrity pledge as part of an online exam or other high-stakes assessment.

8. Question Pools

Tips for using question pools (or question sets) involving random selection of a subset of questions in an only testing platform.


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