Presentation on theme: "What Are Good Assessment Practices? Linda Suskie Director of Assessment Towson University, Maryland USA QAA Workshop: Issues of Validity, Reliability,"— Presentation transcript:
What Are Good Assessment Practices? Linda Suskie Director of Assessment Towson University, Maryland USA QAA Workshop: Issues of Validity, Reliability, and Fairness University of Stirling
What is Assessment? Deciding what we want our students to learn Making sure they learn it! –In courses/modules –Across programs –Institution-wide
The Teaching/Learning/Assessment Cycle 1. Learning Goals 4. Using Results 2. Learning Opportunities 3. Assessment
Are Perfectly Accurate Assessments Possible? Sources of inconsistency that we can’t control: –Student’s health –Student’s emotional state –Memory fluctuations –Luck in choice of assignment or test questions –Luck in guessing –Mental “set” (Flashes of insight? In a rut?)
1. Good assessments are useful. Periodically evaluate what you’re doing. Adapt as things change.
2. Good assessments give reasonably accurate, truthful information. Why do we insist on measuring it with a micrometer when we mark it with chalk and cut it with an axe? --Peter Ewell In assessment, “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” Let’s keep striving for the good. --Tom Angelo
Increasing Accuracy & Truthfulness Multiple kinds of measures Use rubrics and test “blueprints” –Match tools to goals –Score student work fairly & consistently Take your time –Clear assignments & test questions –Ask others to review drafts –Try out (pre-test) new tools
3. Good assessments are fair to all students. Fairness = giving students equitable opportunities to demonstrate learning –Variety of assessment formats –If possible, offer students choices. –Ask people of varying backgrounds to review drafts.
4. Good assessments are ethical. Protect privacy. Minimize potential bias. Discourage inappropriate interpretations. Use multiple sources for major decisions.
Keeping things simple. Focus on a few important goals. –Do a few well rather than many poorly. Use existing information. –Embedded assessments Limit the volume of information. –Short, samples Stop doing something else. Stagger assessments.
Do You Need to Document the Quality of Your Assessments? Are you making a major/expensive decisions? Will your findings be challenged? Keep records of everything you’ve done to maximize assessment quality. Use other kinds of tools & strategies to corroborate your findings. See if results fall into expected patterns.
Recap: How Can You Maximize Assessment Quality? 1.Create useful strategies. 2.Create reasonably accurate, truthful strategies. 3.Create fair strategies. 4.Create ethical strategies. 5.Keep efforts cost-effective.