Assessment of Learning Objectives

The learning objectives assessmentsare exercises to help us determine what our students are learning. The assessments in this document are keyed to the learning objectives. So if you have chosen to work on having students identify the evidence that supports an argument (2b), you will find a suggestion for an assessment under that number here. We have not provided examples of assessments for all of the individual skills enumerated here. However, for each table we have provided an example of at least one assessment in some detail.

These assessments are only examples to help spark thinking and conversation about assessment, not fixed models that should always be applied to assess particular skills. The forms of assessment should always arise out of the needs of an individual course and the goals of the instructor.

Although we'll be assessing how well our students have achieved our objectives, it is important to remember that if the skill we are trying to teach is complex, not all of the students will achieve full mastery of it. Some students will, some will make progress toward mastery, and some will not make progress. The goal over time is to increase the number of students over time who make progress and/or to increase the amount of progress they make, but there will be a point of diminishing returns. Furthermore, sometimes we'll find that the students haven't really made significant progress, which typically happens with skills that we haven't broken down enough yet. This doesn't mean that the assessment was a failure. It has helped to point us in the direction where more work needs to be done (and we wouldn't know that without the assessment).