Classroom Assessment Techniques

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs)Opens in new window
Classroom Assessment Techniques are formative evaluation methods that serve two purposes. They can help you to assess the degree to which your students understand the course content and they can provide you with information about the effectiveness of your teaching methods.

Classroom Assessment TechniquesOpens in new window
Through close observation of students in the process of learning, the collection of frequent feedback on students' learning, and the design of modest classroom experiments, teachers can learn much about how students learn and, more specifically, how students respond to particular teaching approaches. Classroom Assessment helps individual college teachers obtain useful feedback on what, how much, and how well their students are learning. Faculty can then use this information to refocus their teaching to help students make their learning more efficient and more effective.

Classroom Assessment TechniquesOpens in new window
Classroom Assessment is a simple method faculty can use to collect feedback, early and often, on how well their students are learning what they are being taught. The purpose of classroom assessment is to provide faculty and students with information and insights needed to improve teaching effectiveness and learning quality. Other FAQ can also be found here.

An Introduction to Program Evaluation for classroom teachersOpens in new window
Evaluation is a tool which can be used to help teachers judge whether a curriculum or instructional approach is being implemented as planned, and to assess the extent to which stated goals and objectives are being achieved. It allows teachers to answer the questions.

What the Research Says About Student AssessmentOpens in new window
Nationwide calls for better forms of assessing student achievement raise questions about their relative benefits and drawbacks compared to traditional forms of assessment. Broad comparisons are limited by the diversity of alternative forms of assessment, each of which presents different issues, benefits, and drawbacks, and by the fact that large-scale alternative assessment systems are relatively new--the oldest is just five years old. Research has not yet had time to study these systems in depth, but preliminary studies give some indication of how they compare with traditional multiple-choice tests, especially regarding their effect on instruction, equity, and cost. In addition, we discuss the challenges of implementing alternative assessments.

Authentic AssessmentOpens in new window
Assessments must reflect the learning goals that define various environments. If the goal is to enhance understanding and applicability of knowledge, it is not sufficient to provide assessments that focus primarily on memory of facts and formulas.

What Are Promising Ways to Assess Student Learning?Opens in new window
New forms of student assessment are designed to demonstrate what students are learning and what they can do with their knowledge. Known variously as "alternative" or "more authentic" measures, these assessments require students to "perform" in some way--by writing, demonstrating, explaining, or constructing a project or experiment--so they are also called "performance-based" tests.

Classroom Assessment Techniques: Performance AssessmentOpens in new window
Performance assessment strategies are composed of three distinct parts: a performance task; a format in which the student responds; and a predetermined scoring system.

Classroom Assessment TechniquesOpens in new window
What is classroom assessment? How is classroom assessment different? How do I use Classroom Assessment Techniques? .

Feedback and Assessment: Educative AssessmentOpens in new window
When deciding how to provide Feedback and Assessment for student learning, teachers need to do this in a way that goes beyond grading to also helping the learning process. This essay provides a model of educative assessment.

Continuous Quality and Classroom EffectivenessOpens in new window
Continuous quality management (CQI) first moved onto the education scene slightly more than ten years ago. Some institutions of higher learning, community colleges in particular, eagerly embraced its general precepts. Most tried to ignore CQI and it greatest advocate, the American business community.

Creating Better Student AssessmentsOpens in new window
The following are some basic definitions of content and performance standards, as well as an overview of the issues involved in developing assessments to measure state content and student performance standards.

Collecting Student FeedbackOpens in new window
There are four important points concerning student feedback.

Don't be Afraid to Ask the StudentsOpens in new window
On March 22, 2000, about twenty members of the Associated Students Organization assembled to critique our general education program. At that meeting the focus group members made four main suggestions aimed at improving the quality of student learning.

Classroom Assessment Technique ExamplesOpens in new window
These techniques are to be used as starting points, ideas to be adapted and improved upon.

Suggestions: Using Anonymous AssessmentsOpens in new window
Unlike grades, which are identified with particular students, assessments are almost always anonymous. Occasionally, assessment techniques require students to organize seriously and spend energy committing their thoughts to paper. It would be nice if the students could write their papers anonymously but still be able to get them back after the professor has read them.

Goal Ranking & MatchingOpens in new window
What do you, as a participant, hope to get out of a course, seminar, or workshop? What goals or expectations do you wish to satisfy? Goal Ranking & Matching is designed to help make goals and expectations visible to yourself and to assist you in discussing them with others.

Classroom Assessment Techniques: Concept TestsOpens in new window
Many instructors have become far more satisfied with their SMET course simply by taking a few minutes during a typical lecture and posing a conceptual question called a ConcepTest to their students. Eric Mazur, a Harvard physics professor, developed this method for teaching undergraduate physics courses.

The Muddiest PointOpens in new window
The Muddiest Point assessment should be used with discretion. Focusing on muddiest points too often can be discouraging for both students and professors because of the tendency to emphasize the negative.

The Minute PaperOpens in new window
The Minute Paper is the single most commonly used classroom assessment technique. It really does take about a minute and, while usually used at the end of class, it can be used at the end of any topic. Its major advantage is that it provides rapid feedback on whether the professor's main idea and what the students perceived as the main idea are the same.

Teaching Idea: The One-Minute PaperOpens in new window
The one-minute paper may be used to fulfill either function: ascertaining students' understanding of a particular class and/or getting a sense of how students would rate the course. The procedure is simple.

Characteristic FeaturesOpens in new window
Characteristic Features are those traits that help define a topic and differentiate it from others. This assessment technique is particularly useful for seeing whether students are separating items or ideas that are easily confused. By selecting especially critical differentiators, a professor can both highlight and assess the students' use of analysis to help them characterize central concepts.

Background Knowledge ProbeOpens in new window
Research suggests that, outside of socio-economic factors, the best predictor of student learning is what the student already knows before coming to class.

The Critical Incident Questionnaire: A Critical Reflective Teaching ToolOpens in new window
In this report I will discuss the pedagogical perspective served by the CIQ, the basic philosophy behind its use, its characteristics, and its benefits.

Recall, Summarize, Question, Comment, and ConnectOpens in new window
RSQC2 is an assessment device that encourages students to recall and review class information comprehensively. In so doing, it allows the professor to compare students' perspectives against his or her own.

Transfer & ApplyOpens in new window
Transfer & Apply is an intentional way of prompting members of a class or audience to recognize ideas they have learned and consciously transfer them to applications in their own environment.

Grading StandardsOpens in new window
Published grading standards make expectations visible, and subject to assessment.

Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and AssessmentOpens in new window
Grading encompasses the setting of meaningful learning objectives, standards, and criteria; the development of effective assignments; and the improvement of instruction based on the results of the grading.

Scoring RubricsOpens in new window
Has a student ever said to you regarding an assignment, "But, I didn't know what you wanted!" or "Why did her paper get an 'A' and mine a 'C?'" Students must understand the goals we expect them to achieve in course assignments, and importantly, the criteria we use to determine how well they have achieved those goals. Rubrics provide a readily accessible way of communicating and developing our goals with students and the criteria we use to discern how well students have reached them.

Group Work AssessmentOpens in new window
Group-work is a fact of life in the corporate work force. As faculty members become increasingly aware of external expectations and more interested in active learning, the need for Group-work Assessment grows. This assessment should really be used in the early-middle of a project and again at the end. All groups have their disagreements; early assessment can help make real problems visible before they fester into disasters.

Assessing Group EffectivenessOpens in new window
The synergy possible in a group is remarkable. Frequently, students, workers in a corporation, professors, and managers could do much more to cultivate that synergy. There is a need, early and overtly, for Assessing Group Effectiveness in order to place individual personalities in perspective, value the differences that arise, and meld diverse approaches into effective teamwork.

Assessment of Effective Study TimeOpens in new window
Effective study can be thought of as a function time multiplied by effort. A self Assessment of Effective Study Time can bring habits of effective study to the surface by focusing a student's attention on these two factors. The purpose of this assessment is to increase study effectiveness, not to evaluate the weight of study relative to a student's other priorities.

Self AssessmentOpens in new window
Self Assessment makes the student privately but directly confront personal attitudes, paradigms, and biases that may unconsciously present a barrier to learning. At its core, the professor presents students with alternative ways of looking at a controversial issue and asks them to indicate, by writing on a 3x5 card, which viewpoint applies to them.

Self-Confidence SurveyOpens in new window
A Self-Confidence Survey helps to identify areas where students feel comfortable and where they do not. Insofar as self confidence reflects recognition of one's own competence, brief written reflections on confidence make apparent those areas where students need fundamental practice and those where they are ready for more advanced challenges.

Self-Assessment Form for Lecture CourseOpens in new window
Please check those items that are applicable to your work in this course so far this semester.Form for Students to Complete.

The Importance of Information LiteracyOpens in new window
What is information literacy competency? The Presidential Committee on Information Literacy of the American Library Association stated in 1989 that "to be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information."

Teaching Goals InventoryOpens in new window
The Teaching Goals Inventory (TGI) is a self-assessment for professors. Its purpose is threefold: (1) to help professors become more aware of what goals they want to accomplish in individual courses; (2) to help professors locate Classroom Assessment Techniques they can use to assess how well they are achieving their goals; and (3) to provide a starting point for discussions of teaching and learning goals among professors.

The Design of Learning EnvironmentsOpens in new window
New developments in the science of learning raise important questions about the design of learning environments--questions that suggest the value of rethinking what is taught, how it is taught, and how it is assessed.

In an Age of Assessment, Some Useful RemindersOpens in new window
While it has often been argued, it is nonetheless worth keeping in mind that the most important function of assessment is to use it as a major means for continuous improvement in our teaching and in the instructional programs we offer on our respective campuses.