A column on all things assessment. Find additional assessment-related resources in our Assessment Teaching Resources

students engaged in class

Facilitating and assessing student engagement in the classroom

Jan. 23, 2023

Improving student engagement in the classroom is a common concern among faculty these days. At some point in the conversation, the mythic college student makes an appearance. That perfect student of the past was always on time, had always done the reading, answered every question with astounding complexity, and memorized...

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Early Feedback

Aug. 30, 2022

Early feedback is important because it allows learners to have a voice in their learning experience. As well, it is important because it allows instructors the chance to improve the course and their teaching to then result in better student outcomes and success.

course mapping template

Mapping your course

May 3, 2022

A course map is a visual representation of the ways in which your course instruction and assignments align with the learning objectives. Mapping your course allows you to identify where students are learning key concepts and skills, and to make decisions about formative and summative assessments. It can also help determine where to provide additional instruction or learning support.

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Assessment in large enrollment classes

Oct. 28, 2021

Many of my conversations with faculty focus on the challenges they have with doing good learning assessment in large classes. The best learner-centered assessment approaches are no match for 200-person enrollment. I mean, can you imagine reading 200 5-page essays? That’s 1,000 pages for just one assignment! So, what’s an...

pencil shavings on a notebook

Should we worry about learning loss?

Sept. 1, 2021

Students and faculty are returning to campus this semester after a year and a half of educational disruptions and adaptations precipitated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Among the many concerns about how our students are faring, colleges and universities are thinking about learning loss. New students are joining us in person...

A pencil and pencil shavings rest on a notebook. Photo by Angelina Litvin via Unsplash

Summer assessment tasks

April 28, 2021

I am writing this on a snowy-rainy day, but summer is on the horizon. While you ponder your fall classes with your feet soaking in a mountain stream this summer, it might also be a good time to consider your course assessment strategies. What is worth keeping and what will...

A pencil and pencil shavings rest on a notebook. Photo by Angelina Litvin via Unsplash

Frequent feedback

March 29, 2021

Students need to know how they are doing in your class When I meet with students to learn about their course learning experiences, one thing stands out: students want more frequent feedback about their performance. In some cases, students tell me they are expected to wait until midterms or later...

A pencil and pencil shavings rest on a notebook. Photo by Angelina Litvin via Unsplash

Making FCQs work for you

Feb. 24, 2021

I have a friend who looks forward to getting his student course ratings back every semester. His scores are usually high, and students have always gushed about his teaching. A few years ago, things started to change. His scores decreased, and student comments were increasingly critical. This took my friend...

A pencil and pencil shavings rest on a notebook. Photo by Angelina Litvin via Unsplash

Class feedback

Jan. 20, 2021

Getting feedback from your students throughout the semester provides you multiple checks on the student experience and helps you determine how to adjust your course to better meet their needs. A two-way communication channel about what is and is not working can help you connect with your students and create a positive classroom climate. Stephanie Foster, CTL Assessment Lead, shares tried-and-true strategies for gathering student feedback.

Adapting your assessment strategies to the remote environment

Oct. 2, 2020

Let’s face it: There is plenty of anxiety to go around on a college campus these days. The unusual situations that we are experiencing have ratcheted up the normal pressures of university life, contributing to heightened anxieties for students and faculty alike. Course assessments – exams, essays, research papers, performances,...