The first part in a three-part series discussing tried-and-true and novel assessment ideas, as well as common methods whose usefulness in your program might be dated. Plus, how to customize and apply lesser-known, but effective, assessment strategies to fit your program.
By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT
Last month, we discussed maintaining a professional journal. This month as fall classes begin, we will talk about assessment since it is a critically important aspect of the work that we do. For the next two months, we will review various methods, and in two months, we will examine assessment criteria.
Purpose of Assessment
One of the gifts that we can give our students is to share our professional judgments of the quality of their work. Based on our best professional knowledge, the feedback that we can give our students helps them see their work more clearly, understand what they do well and learn what they need to improve. Providing those insights takes a commitment to be as objective and thorough as we can be in giving our students useful feedback.
Letter grades do not provide useful feedback. Comments in the margin of papers, corrected examination questions and detailed commentary on performance issues help students learn something. As faculty members, we need to think about which methods of assessment to use and which methods work best for which courses.