Assessing Student Learning
We work with instructors to design custom learning assessments that help instructors gain feedback about what students are learning. These learning assessments include non–graded, in–class activities (Classroom Assessment Techniques), student self–assessments, and knowledge surveys. Depending on the needs of the instructors, these consultations may include a consultant from Bloomington Evaluation Services & Testing (BEST). Feel free to make an appointment to design a student learning assessment tool. All consultations are completely confidential.
In addition to assessing learning to gather in-semester feedback, CITL consultants can also work with individuals and departments on programmatic assessment issues—identifying programmatic learning outcomes for students, aligning individual courses to these goals, and developing methods of determining how well students are meeting the goals.
Classroom Assessment Techniques
These techniques are simple, non–graded, anonymous, in–class activities that give both you and your students useful feedback on the teaching–learning process. Classroom assessment differs from tests and other forms of student assessment in that it is aimed at course improvement, rather than at assigning grades. The primary goal is to better understand your students’ learning to improve your teaching.
- Learn more about Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATS).
- View sample CATS.
- Read about how one professor implemented the Minute Paper CAT into his introductory Psychology course.
- Feel free to make an appointment with a consultant to discuss the use of Classroom Assessment Techniques. All consultations are completely confidential.
Group Work Assessment
Students working as a team to complete a project can accomplish many positive learning outcomes: they set goals, identify roles and tasks, provide constructive feedback, assess their own understanding, and learn deeply by teaching others. With careful project design, management, and assessment, student learning groups can produce many positive results.
- Our Group Skills Development Pledge can be used as an example of guidelines to foster constructive student interactions in a group.
- Used in conjunction with the group pledge, our Group Work Self Assessment can be used by students to assess their contributions to the group.
- Feel free to make an appointment with a consultant to discuss examples of group projects, activities for fostering group unity, and models for assessment of the group work. All consultations are completely confidential.
CITL consultants can assist instructors with designing, evaluating, and revising tests to best measure student learning. We also offes a wide range of testing assistance to faculty members and AIs in every aspect type of teaching format (lecture, discussion, labs). Designing new tests, refining those currently in use, or finding alternatives to testing are all addressed by these consultants.
- BEST (IU Bloomington Evaluation Services and Testing) also offers assistance with testing, including assessment, evaluation, testing, standardized tests, surveys, Web–based evaluation and grade–reporting tools, machine scoring, guides to the design of testing and evaluation, including How to Write Better Tests and the Quick Guide to Better Tests.
- Our Writing Program consults on the use of writing in classes, including the design and norming (ensuring consistent and efficient marking) of essay tests.
Examples of how we help instructors with learning assessment
Assessing Students on a Daily Basis
An instructor teaching a lower level course was not sure that his students were “getting it.” It was the middle of the semester, and he needed a non–graded form of assessment. The consultant explained the use of classroom assessment techniques (CATs) to him and together they picked out three assessment techniques that were appropriate for his discipline and teaching style. Using these brief, ungraded assessments, the instructor was able to identify and correct the specific problems his students were having.
Designing Multiple–Choice Exams
An instructor decided to use multiple–choice exams because he was teaching a larger class in the next semester and wanted to keep grading time manageable. He met with a consultant from CITL and from BEST and not only refined the exams he had used in the past, but also learned how to use reports from BEST how to evaluate the effectiveness of future multiple–choice questions.
Testing a Particular Innovation
An instructor tried an innovative lesson and wanted to know if the students had learned what she wanted them to learn. Working with a consultant, she designed a brief custom survey for the students. Using the results, she was able to fine–tune the innovation for the next semester.