Assessment Foundation

Assessing Student Learning and Faculty Teaching


An Overview of Assessment

Assessment is essential for effective learning because it provides feedback to both students and instructors. Feedback can guide students to most efficiently focus their learning efforts and inform instructors about student progress toward learning goals. Assessments can help instructors identify areas of challenge for students and adjust the teaching approach to facilitate learning.


Checks for Learning

Creating checks before, during, and after instruction can focus on what students already know or believe, what they are coming to understand or what they are learning, and then what they have learned.

  1. What should you consider in planning assessments for your course?
  2. How do you know what students are learning?
  3. How do you know what students have learned?


Definitions and Examples

Before student performance can be assessed, curriculum design, course design, and syllabus design should be aligned. If they have been created with appropriate Student Learning Outcomes (pdf) in mind, then assessment can be formulated that will support them, in combination with course content. Indeed, once it is clear what learning, thinking skills, and other skills students should acquire, as well as the content knowledge they should glean, then rubrics can be used to verify student learning through student performance (tests, projects, papers, portfolio assignments, etc.).