2-Minute Mentor: Evaluating Student Learning
Evaluating student learning (constructing exams)
- What should I put on a test?
- How do I connect tests and course goals?
- What kinds of assessment demonstrate higher-level learning?
Click below to watch CTE’s 2-Minute Mentor video on this topic:
Evaluating Student Learning video transcript (doc)
Students can demonstrate what they’ve learned in various ways. Objective test items such as multiple choice questions can be very useful for assessing recall and understanding of facts and principles, but you may want to opt for other types of assessment items when testing a student’s ability to apply, evaluate, or synthesize information or perform a task. Below are three categories of assessment items, as identified by Wiggins and McTighe (2005):
Quiz and Test Items
Measure recall and comprehension of facts and principles
Measure ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate
Measure the ability to apply knowledge and skills in an authentic way
For more information on effective exam construction (e.g., types and number of items to include, format, grading), check out Barbara Gross Davis’ Tools for Teaching (2009), available at CTE’s library.
More about assessing learning
The following links provide more information about designing assessments:
- Designing and administering tests
- Grading tests
- Designing writing assignments
- Grading writing assignments
Additional materials are available in CTE’s Essential Guide to Teaching.
These portfolios in the CTE Gallery show examples of effective assessments:
- Writing as a Primary Means for Learning—Ruth Ann Atchley
- Testing for Deep Understanding—Ben Eggleston
- Making Biomaterial Development Real to Students—Lisa Friis
- Using Learning Goals to Guide Course Redesign—Michael Moody