Module 6: Assessing Teaching and Learning

Assessing Student Learning:

From Micro to Mastery


This activity is designed to help faculty assess students in ways that support course and program learning objectives. Good evaluation builds from the micro level—frequent formative assessment in the classroom—toward mastery of major concepts and knowledge.

Print out the Blank Assessment Flowchart (an Adobe PDF document, 76k).

  1. Begin by filling in your course or program learning outcomes in the first column.
  2. Next, review your syllabus, curriculum, textbook, lab manuals, and other course materials to be sure that all distinct activities are assessed in some way. Formative assessment is characterized by frequency and focus. Formative evaluations should be brief and to the point. After you have done this review, write down formative assessment tools you can use to evaluate each discrete lesson, lab, or module, in the second column.
  3. Summative assessment evaluates mastery, usually through longer, less frequent, and more comprehensive tests and projects. Determine what type of summative assessment will measure your course's learning objectives. Cognitive knowledge, for example, may be best measured by a written test or essay, whereas technical skills and practices might better be assessed with a performance activity. Also, make sure summative assessment tools echo what was previously measured by your formative assessment techniques. Write down summative assessment tools in the third column.