If there is merit to supporting the diversity in the learners who come to our classrooms, by selecting inputs like video or audio, creating spaces where learners can do group work, and allowing them to experiment… how do we know if it was successful?
We express what is to be learned in observable terms/actions (by writing good course-level outcomes) so that we can then assess the ‘recognized external change in behavior’ (the degree to which a learner has met the outcomes stated). We must set our intention, develop an activity that supports the change we want to occur, and then conduct assessments to identify the degree to which a learner has reached (or exceeded!) the change.
This page provides an overview of why we may add in assessment ‘checkpoints’, the formative, interim, and summative methods to assess.
|Assessment as a "learning checkpoint" tool|
|Assessment happens to check if learning has occurred, by including different 'checkpoints' in the course where learners show us what they know. We view assessment generally as a way to determine course completion. What we ask them to do can actually gather data for 1 of 3 different assessment reasons.|
|Assessment FOR Learning|
|We will build in assessment points here in order to gather data that we can use to gauge if what we are doing (our teaching methods) are working. We look to see if learners have achieved the level of learning we had planned, and adjust our future teaching accordingly.|
|Assessment OF Learning|
|We will build in assessment points here in order to gather data that we can use to compare student performance/mastery and to report out (issuing a resulting grade).|
|Assessment AS Learning|
We will build in assessment points here in order to help learners gather data that they can use to gauge where they are (on track/off track). We help learners to determine if they have achieved the level of learning we had planned so that we can help them to adjust for any needed corrections in their performance/mastery.
These are critical to determining the degree to which a learner has achieved a course outcome.
Summative assessments help you to determine the degree to which your learners are ready for what comes next (start their groups project, move to the next course in your program). It becomes extremely challenging when a learner is moving forward in a program when they are not ready to do so. Summative assessments help you (and them) be ready.