Assessment for learning student questionnaire

assessment accountability and student learning outcomes and assessment of student learning experience template
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Dr.KeiraCollins,United States,Professional
Published Date:07-07-2017
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TOOLS & TECHNIQUES for Program Improvement Handbook for Program Review & Asssessment of Student LearningChapter 1 Focus on Learning The Purpose of this Chapter Over the past thirty years ideas about what constitutes excellence in education have shifted from the traditional view of what teachers provide to a practical concern for what learners actually learn, achieve, and become. The evidence tells us that teaching and learning can be made much more effective, and can lead to deeper understanding which is retained longer by students than with traditional methods. • From Teacher-centered to Learner-centered • Best Practices in Teaching and Learning • Models of Student Development • Bloom’s Taxonomy: A guide to setting learning objectives • The Perry Scheme • Toward a Culture of Evidence From Teacher-centered to Learner-centered For the past century or so, the focus of the traditional “teacher-centered” model of education has been on inputs: the credentials of faculty, the topics to be covered, the sequencing of courses, the physical resources of universities, and so forth. Based on a great deal that has been learned about learning in the last thirty years, the traditional model is rapidly being replaced with a learner-centered model, which has its main focus on outputs: what knowledge and abilities have students actually acquired, what do they actually know, and what are they competent actually to do? 10 Chapter 1 at a glanceImplicit in the student-centered model is the idea that instructors are not providers of knowledge, but rather facilitators of learning. It is not enough to construct a syllabus and present information, however skillfully, to a captive audience; the job of instructors now involves creating and sustaining an effective learning environment based on a wide range of “best practices” in teaching and learning, which today’s instructors are expected to learn and adopt. The increasing focus on student learning as the central indicator of institutional excellence challenges many tacit assumptions about the respective roles of college students and faculty. As shown below in Table 1.1, the responsibilities of students and faculty and the relationships between the two models are quite different. In student-centered education, faculty bear less responsibility for being sources of knowledge, and take on more responsibility as facilitators of a broad range of learning experiences. For their part, students are called on to take on more responsibility for their own learning. Some main differences between the old model and the new model are shown in Table 1.1. Table 1.1: Teacher-centered versus Learner-centered Domain: Teacher-centered Learner-centered Knowledge: Transmitted by instructor Constructed by students Student participation: Passive Active Role of professor: Leader/authority Facilitator/learning partner Few tests—mainly for Many tests—for ongoing Role of Assessment: grading feedback Developing deeper Emphasis: Learning correct answers understanding Assessment method: Unidimensional testing Multidimensional products Individualistic and Collaborative and Academic culture: competitive supportive Huba & Freed (2000). 11Best Practices in Teaching and Learning New knowledge about how students learn has changed the way we define and achieve success in education, as summarized in Figure 1.1. In the learning-centered model, the best learning results from the interaction of good teaching, student engagement, and ongoing assessment. Figure 1.1: Assessment and Best Practices in Teaching and Learning More Student Involvement Best Practices in Teaching • Academic • Applications Best • Student-Faculty • Faculty Modeling Learning + = • Student-Student • Collaboration Outcomes • Cultural diversity • Rich Feedback • Community Service • Curricular Goals Assessment Learning Cycle Improvements A number of scholars have summarized the current knowledge about teaching and learning into various lists of “best practices.” Perhaps the best known and widely accepted set of teaching and learning principles is the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Higher Education (Chickering and Gamson, 1987, adapted below from Ehrmann and Chickering, 1998). The principles deserve careful reading and reflection, as they provide direct and effective suggestions to instructors for improving the quality and effectiveness of instruction. All of these principles are linked by the common thread of stimulating the kinds of student engagement that promote the most effective learning. The Seven p rincipleS for Good p T rac ice in h iGher e duca Tion 1. Good Practice Encourages Contacts Between Students and Faculty Frequent student-faculty contact in and out of class is a most important factor in student motivation and involvement. Faculty concern helps students get through rough times and keep on working. Knowing a few faculty members well enhances students’ intellectual commitment, provides role models for their own development, and encourages them to think about their own values and plans. 122. Good Practice Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students Learning is enhanced when it is more like a team effort than a solo race. Good learning, like good work, is collaborative and social, not competitive and isolated. Working with others often increases involvement in learning. Sharing one’s ideas and responding to others’ ideas improves thinking and deepens understanding. 3. Good Practice Uses Active Learning Techniques Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just sitting in classes listening to teachers, memorizing prepackaged assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are learning, write reflectively about it, relate it to past experiences, and apply it to their daily lives. Because students are continually forming their own meanings from their experiences with new information, teaching methods which emphasize application, such as internships, service learning, and other practica all help to transfer abstract learning into concrete action and measurable skills. 4. Good Practice Gives Prompt Feedback Prompt and frequent feedback is an important tool for learning. Knowing what you know and don’t know focuses study efforts. Students need frequent opportunities to perform and receive feedback on their performance, so they can reflect on what they have learned and what they still need to know. Entrenched practices of midterm, final, and term paper may be adequate for assigning course grades, but they fall far short of the potential for learning engendered by frequent assessment feedback. 5. Good Practice Emphasizes Time on Task Time plus energy equals learning. Learning to use one’s time well is critical for students and professionals alike. Allocating realistic amounts of time means effective learning for students and effective teaching for faculty. 6. Good Practice Communicates High Expectations Expect more and you will get it. High expectations are important for everyone— for the poorly prepared, for those unwilling to exert themselves, and for the bright and well motivated. An appropriate and continuing level of challenge stimulates student participation and learning, while too much or too little challenge discourages interest. 7. Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning Many roads lead to learning. Different students bring different talents and styles to college. Brilliant students in a seminar might be all thumbs in a lab or studio; students rich in hands-on experience may not do so well with theory. Students need opportunities to show their talents and learn in ways that work for them before they can be led to learn in new ways that do not come so easily. 13Models of Student Development Since Western’s mission and strategic goals are broadly based in the liberal arts tradition, and apply not only to general education requirements, but to the overall goals of the Western Experience, it is essential that Western faculty understand and are committed to the larger context of learning in which their courses and programs take place, as outlined in Western’s Strategic Plan: “Western Washington University is committed to engaged excellence in fulfilling its tripartite mission of teaching, scholarship, and community service in a student-centered environment, with a liberal arts foundation and opportunities to develop professional skill. Through engaged excellence, Western: • instills in graduates a life-long passion for learning and fosters individual curiosity, intellectual rigor, critical thinking, and creativity; • promotes scholarly and creative work of significance and applies that scholarship in regional, national, and global communities; • creates opportunities for students to display leadership, civic engagement, social responsibility, and effective citizenship; • brings together an increasingly diverse and talented student body, faculty, and staff to form a learning community that, along with community partners, involves its members in active learning, scholarly discourse, and reflection; and • provides a high quality environment that complements the learning community on a sustainable and attractive campus intentionally designed to support student learning and environmental stewardship.” Clearly, the goals Western has embraced are about student development, very broadly defined. Fortunately, there are several very useful models of student development which illustrate and clarify the expanded roles of college teachers in learner-centered education. These include especially: Bloom’s Taxonomy: Cognitive domain Bloom’s Taxonomy: Affective domain Perry model of intellectual development Bloom’s Taxonomy: A guide to setting learning objectives Forty years ago American educational technologist Benjamin Bloom proposed that an assigned task stimulates in a student one of three hierarchical learning domains, 14Word Power and developed a “taxonomy” that described a hierarchy of abilities in each domain. By linking assigned work to specific developmental levels of learning, Bloom’s Taxonomy is a valuable tool to help faculty clarify the kinds and levels of skills they are asking students to demonstrate, create assignments that better evoke the kinds of learning they want, and create assessments that are meaningful for both instructor and students. (See Table 1.2.) Table 1.2: Bloom’s three learning domains Acqusition, integration, and application of Cognitive domain: knowledge. Evolution of attitudes, values, and feelings Affective domain: alongside cognitive development. Psychomotor domain: Acqusition of motor or physical skills. Within each domain, abilities are organized into hierarchical levels, building from the simplest to the most complex and integrated. Higher level tasks of the taxonomy build on the foundation of the previous levels. A student goes through the hierarchy repetitively within each course, within a major or minor program of study, and within an entire collegiate experience in the process of maturing in all of the domains. In addition, Bloom developed lists of action verbs to describe different kinds of very specific abilities which can be learned, observed, and assessed. In Table 1.3 below are shown the six levels of the cognitive domain, along with a few representative keywords to describe the kinds of abilities involved at each level. Using concrete “action” verbs such as define , argue, or create to specify learning objectives is more helpful for assessment than vague terms such as know or understand, because they can be much more easily translated into observable, assessable outcomes. The action keywords in an assignment determine what kinds and levels of learning are being asked for and assessed. Comprehensive lists of keywords are available at many web sites; using “bloom’s taxonomy key words” as the search, over 50,000 sites were listed. One of these sites is: www.nwlink.com/donclark/hrd/bloom.html. 15Table 1.3: Bloom’s cognitive domain Remember Understand Apply Analyze Evaluate Create Make Comprehend judgments the meaning Apply Separate Put parts Demonstrate about the and learning to concepts into together to recall and value of interpretation of concrete component create new recognition. material or instructions and situations. parts. meaning. methods for a problems. given purpose. interpret analyze assess compose exemplify apply associate critique create, design recall classify execute attribute check integrate, plan recognize explain implement differentiate evaluate originate, identify summarize carry out discriminate interpret relate retrieve compare use organize judge invent, revise infer interpret justify synthesize Keywords Although the cognitive domain tends to dominate our thinking about what students learn in college, development of affective skills like listening, responding, participating, collaborating, and valuing is an inseparable and important component of every course and program of study. Maturation of these affective abilities is one of Western’s major strategic goals; therefore, learning objectives in the affective domain deserve explicit attention and articulation in course and program objectives. (See Table 1.4.) 16Table 1.4: Bloom’s affective domain Receiving Responding to Internalizing Valuing Organizing phenomena phenomena values Motivated Organizes, Engaged by worth or compares, and Internalizes Sensory participation; value attached synthesizes a personal, availability, attends to and to an object, values into consistent, and directed interacts with phenomenon, or priorities, predictable value attention, willing phenomena; ideal; expressed resolves conflicts system that participation. motivated to in overt, among them, and guides behavior. respond. identifiable creates a unique behavior. value system. answer, assist adapt, combine accept, adopt discriminate, comply, discuss categorize ask, choose approve perform, practice compare, defend attend, listen commit, endorse act, practice, present, read generalize select, reply join, justify question, revise, recite, report integrate observe share, study serve, solve, select, tell organize work verify write systemize Keywords Baccalaureate learning objectives often emphasize the cognitive domain, while University mission and goals statements generally speak more broadly of affective outcomes. In a way, the cognitive domain says something about what a student has learned or can do, while the affective domain says something about how students have grown, developed, and evolved in their self-construal, values, and world view as an integrated result of their overall educational experience. Western’s mission is about both, which invites a brief discussion of the Perry model of intellectual development, which does not make distinctions between the cognitive and affective domains. 17The Perry Scheme In the fifties and sixties, Harvard educational psychologist and student counselor William Perry, Jr., used students’ own perceptions of overall changes in their learning and development during college to formulate a model of intellectual development that includes both the cognitive and affective development of increasingly complex forms of thought about the world, one’s discipline, and one’s self. Perry’s work underscores the notion that the deep learning most faculty really want to see students achieve involves significant qualitative changes in the way learners make meaning from their learning. Perry’s “scheme” consists of nine hierarchical and integrative cognitive “positions” defined by how people make meaning of their experiences. Each position represents a quantum shift in thinking; like electrons jumping to higher levels, students need some quanta of integrative experience to “jump” to higher levels of complexity in their world views and behaviors. (See Table 1.5.) Table 1.5: The Perry Model of Intellectual Development 1-2 3 4 5 Contextual Dualism Multiplicity 1 Multiplicity 2 Relativism Truth is absolute Truth can never Any act of Truth is absolute and knowable, be known knowing requires and defined by but incompletely with absolute taking a point of an Authority. defined by certainty. view. Authority. Undergraduate college education generally involves development up to positions 4 or 5. In particular, the shift from level 4 to level 5, where students integrate their values with their evolving cognitive understanding, is regarded as a particularly significant transition in intellectual development, and is entirely consistent with Western’s mission as stated above. 18The Bloom and Perry models together present an unified way of looking at the kind of integrative learning that Western strives for all graduates to achieve. Lower levels of development are on the left, and higher on the right. (See Table 1.6.) Table 1.6: Bloom and Perry models compared Bloom’s cognitive domain Remember Understand Apply Analyze Evaluate Create Bloom’s affective domain Receiving Responding to Internalizing Valuing Organizing phenomena phenomena values Perry positions 5 = Contextual 1-2 = Dualism 3 = Multiplicity 1 4 = Multiplicity 2 Relativism Truth is absolute Any act of Truth is absolute and knowable, Truth can never knowing requires and defined by an but incompletely be known with taking a point of Authority. defined by absolute certainty. view. Authority. Table 1-6 is also consistent with Robert Kegan’s theory of lifespan development, which asserts that we make sense of the world in three primary, evolving, and interactive dimensions : • cognitive: how one makes sense of knowledge; • interpersonal: how one sees oneself in relation to others; and • intrapersonal: how one develops an internal belief system. Because complex learning is a goal of higher education, and because people tend to become “embedded” in their beliefs, it is essential that students be engaged, challenged, and supported as they develop in all of these interacting dimensions. 19Toward a Culture of Evidence As shown in Figure 1.1 above (page 12), assessment is the “third pillar” of student-centered learning. Together with best practices in teaching and effective facilitation of student involvement, assessment is just the name for the ongoing, cyclical practice of setting goals, checking to see how well they have been achieved, and making appropriate adjustments to courses, programs, and assessment methods. The importance of assessment is that it is the mechanism which guides courses, academic programs, and support programs toward improving student learning. These three elements when applied and practiced over time gradually build a “culture of evidence” in which assessment feedback becomes a regular and essential component of program development. (See Figure 1.2 below.) Figure 1.2: Toward a culture of evidence Adapted from Maki, 2001, and Bresciani, 2003. 20Chapter 2 Assessment for Learning The Purpose of this Chapter This chapter introduces program assessment, its relationship to student learning, the basic elements every successful program assessment plan must have, and how they must be related to one another. • Assessment is Part of Learning • Benefits of Assessment • Nine Principles of Good Assessment Practice • Assessment, Accreditation, and Accountability Assessment is the systematic collection and analysis of information to improve student learning Defined in this manner, assessment asks you to think about the following questions: • What should students be learning and in what ways should they be growing? • What are students actually learning and in what ways are they actually growing? • What should you be doing to facilitate student learning and growth? 22 Chapter 2 at a glanceAssessment is Part of Learning As shown in Figure 2.1, assessment is an iterative, four-stage, information feedback process for setting learning goals and objectives and then gathering, interpreting, and applying outcomes data from courses, programs, or entire curricula to improve student learning. Assessment is intricately associated with the “learner-centered” model of institutional effectiveness, has become deeply embedded in American higher education, and reflects widespread acceptance among educational stakeholders that student learning is the most essential measure of program and institutional effectiveness. Figure 2.1: Assessment Learning Cycle Define Intended Learning Objectives How will you What are you know if you’re trying to do? successful? Redesign Program to Measure Selected Improve Learning Learning Outcomes How can you How successful do better? were you? Compare Outcomes with Intended Objectives As introduced in Chapter 1 (Fig. 1.1), assessment is the ongoing cyclical practice of setting goals, checking to see how well they have been achieved, and making appropriate adjustments to courses, programs, and assessment methods to improve results over time. Assessment is the process which guides courses, academic programs, and support programs toward improvement by continually asking one question over and over: Are you doing what you think you’re doing? 23Assessment LeArning CyCLe: Are you doing what you think you’re doing? STeP One: What are you trying to do? Define intended program learning objectives: specifically, what do you want your graduates to know and actually to be able to do? STeP TwO: How will you know if you are successful? Define observable, measurable, actual outcomes that will tell you how well each objective has been met. STeP Three: How successful were you? Compare observed outcomes to intended outcomes: how well did you meet your objectives in general, and your student learning objectives in particular? STeP FOur: What should you do about it? Accept or modify program objectives, outcomes, and assessment measures to better achieve target objectives in next cycle. Benefits of Assessment Of course, even without formal assessment procedures, faculty have constantly explored in their own ways what worked well and what didn’t, and used those observations and impressions to make changes in courses and curriculum. Formal assessment (like the type discussed in this handbook) simply makes those informal activities more systematic, more focused, more effective, and more public. Assessment can facilitate improvement through a variety of venues. When faculty members are directly involved in the development, implementation, and analysis of assessment activities, a number of specific benefits result. (See Table 2.1.) 24Table 2.1: Benefits of Assessment FaculTy can design instruction to target BecauSe aSSeSSmenT can the knowledge and skill levels students provide information about the should have upon finishing a course and knowledge and skills students better determine the levels of thinking or have as they enter a course… reasoning appropriate for the course. BecauSe aSSeSSmenT can FaculTy can rely less on the comments provide reliable data on student that appear on student evaluations as learning… indicators of their success in teaching. BecauSe aSSeSSmenT can make FaculTy can engage in more productive available richer data about the conversations about the status of student effects of the curriculum or achievement and make better decisions teaching methods… about how it might be improved. BecauSe aSSeSSmenT can yield FaculTy can make reliable decisions about more reliable data about innovations or experimental projects in instruction… instruction and share successes more easily. BecauSe aSSeSSmenT can provide evidence that faculty FaculTy can enjoy greater satisfaction in make a difference in student their work as educators. learning… BecauSe aSSeSSmenT can offer FaculTy can identify directions for future a larger view of student needs instructional development. and accomplishments… Adapted from Program-based Review and Assessment, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Fall, 2001). 25Nine Principles of Good Assessment Practice As discussed above, and as shown in Figure 1.1 in Chapter 1, because assessment is the mechanism by which we n fi d out if our intentions for a program have been successfully transformed into actual student learning, it is essential that assessment practices are practically achievable and functionally effective. The American Association of Higher Education has summarized nine principles for good assessment practice. Though briey fl stated, the principles are rich with detail about the linkages between assessment and learning. The ability for faculty to understand and apply these principles to their courses and programs is the primary goal of this handbook. Assessment begins with educational values. Effective assessment of student learning begins with a vision of the kinds of learning we most value for students. Where questions about educational 1 mission and values are skipped over, assessment can become a futile exercise in measuring what’s easy, rather than a process of improving what we really care about. Assessment is most effective when it is multidimensional, integrated, and revealed in performance over time. Learning entails not only what students know but also what they can do with what they know; it involves not only knowledge and abilities but also values, 2 attitudes, and habits of mind that contribute to successful achievement of goals. Assessment should use a diverse array of methods to foster and reveal change, growth, and increasing degrees of integration. Assessment works best when the programs it seeks to improve have clear, explicitly stated purposes. Assessment is a goal-oriented process. Through an ongoing process of comparing educational performance with educational purposes, it pushes 3 instruction toward clarity about where to aim and what standards to apply. Clear, shared, achievable goals are the cornerstone for assessment that is focused and useful. Assessment requires attention to outcomes but also and equally to the experiences that lead to those outcomes. Information about outcomes is of high importance; but we also need to know 4 about student experience along the way—about how the curricula, instruction, campus climate, and kind of student engagement enhances students’ overall cognitive and affective development. 26Assessment works best when it is ongoing not episodic. Systematic improvement is best fostered when assessment entails a linked series of activities undertaken over time. Whether tracking the progress of individual 5 students or of entire cohorts, the point is to monitor progress toward intended goals in a spirit of continuous improvement. Along the way, the assessment process itself should be evaluated and refined in light of emerging insights. Assessment fosters wider improvement when representatives from across the educational community are involved. Student learning is a campus-wide responsibility, and assessment is a way of 6 enacting that responsibility. Faculty play an especially important role, but so do student-affairs educators, librarians, administrators, and students. Assessment is not a task for small groups of experts but a collaborative activity of educators and stakeholders throughout the larger community. Assessment makes a difference when it illuminates questions that people really care about. 7 Assessment recognizes the value of information in the process of improvement. But to be useful, information must be connected to issues or questions that people really care about, and produce evidence that is credible, applicable, and useful. Assessment is most likely to lead to improvement when it is part of a larger set of conditions that promote change. Assessment alone changes little. Its greatest contribution comes on campuses 8 where the quality of teaching and learning is visibly valued and is central to the institution’s planning, budgeting, and personnel decisions. On such campuses, information about learning outcomes avidly sought as an integral part of decision making. Through assessment, educators meet responsibilities to students and to the public. Colleges have a responsibility to the publics that support and depend on 9 them to establish meaningful goals and expectations for students, to provide information about how well students meet those goals and expectations are met, and to strive continually to improve student learning over time. Adapted from American Association for Higher Education, Assessment Forum: Alexander W. Astin; Trudy W. Banta; K. Patricia Cross; Elaine El-Khawas; Peter T. Ewell; Pat Hutchings; Theodore J. Marchese; Kay M. McClenney; Marcia Mentkowski; Margaret A. Miller; E. Thomas Moran; Barbara D. Wright. 27Assessment, Accreditation, and Accountability Over the past fifteen years, the increasing attention higher education has been getting from both state regulators and from accreditation bodies has merged into a fairly unified focus on student learning as the “coin of the realm” for assessing institutional quality. These changes increasingly mean that it is not enough that college teachers be well-trained in their disciplines; they also are increasingly being required to learn a great deal more about learning, teaching, setting course objectives, and organizing, integrating, and assessing curricula than has traditionally been the case. Their responsibilities have expanded considerably toward creating and maintaining an effective learning environment and gathering systematic evidence of student learning, and these are going to require them and their schools to invest relatively more of their time into their development as teachers. At present, both the State of Washington and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities require that all academic programs: • have assessment plans that conform to specific standards, and • are able to document the regular use of assessment data to improve student learning over time. Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities Standard 2B requirements: • “The institution’s processes for assessing its educational programs are clearly defined, encompass all of its offerings, are conducted on a regular basis, and are integrated into the overall planning and evaluation plan. • The institution identifies and publishes the expected learning outcomes for each of its degree and certificate programs. Through regular and systematic assessment, it demonstrates that students who complete their programs, no matter where or how they are offered, have achieved these outcomes. • The institution provides evidence that its assessment activities lead to the improvement of teaching and learning.” 28