- Peer Review: Classroom Assessment Techniques
Classroom Assessment Techniques
- Feb 7, 2003 by Teacher Education
- Classroom assessment techniques build on the perspective that assessment should
focus on learning as the outcome of many influences, including teaching style,
student motivation, time on task, study intensity, and background knowledge.
This Website views assessment as a look at specific parts of learning, in
contrast to grades that are recorded at the end of a project or class, in order
to summarize academic quality. An explanation about the differences and
similarities between assessment and grading are discussed. The suggested
classroom assessment techniques (CATs) yield evidence of pedagogical
significance that can be used by faculty teaching any class. The content is
adapted from authoritative references such as T.A. Angelo and K. P. Cross, 1993.
Classroom Assessment Techniques, 2nd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, reproduced
with permission. A variety of information about assessment and grading is
provided, including different ways to assess student learning so that
adjustments can be made in the teaching and learning activities. Some of the
activities allow a faculty member to assess how well large numbers of students
?understand? some aspect or aspects of a lesson or course. In addition the site
provides examples of rubrics that faculty members can adjust for their needs in
order to provide students with clear information about how they (students) will
be graded. This site provides tools that a faculty member can use when
reflecting about his or her practice and how he or she might improve the
teaching/learning process within his or her classes.
- Type of Material:
- Recommended Uses:
- The purpose of classroom assessment is to provide faculty and students with
information and insights needed to improve their teaching effectiveness and the
quality of student learning. It would be useful in courses where students must
design instruction for delivery to adults ? whether that instruction would be
via training as in business and industry or via college courses.
- Technical Requirements:
- Internet connection and browser.
- Identify Major Learning Goals:
- ?Classroom assessment is a simple method faculty can use to collect feedback,
early and often, on how well their students are learning what is being taught. ?
(--Angelo, T.A., 1991. Ten easy pieces: Assessing higher learning in four
dimensions. In Classroom research: Early lessons from success. New directions in
teaching and learning (#46), Summer, 17-31.)
Other goals are to provide information about: the differences between
assessment and grading, PTA (Primary Trait Analysis) and how to apply it,
methods for assessing student learning, and examples of rubrics that help
students understand how they will be graded.
- Target Student Population:
- The site is aimed toward faculty but can be used for graduate students who are
in programs or courses where they are expected to learn about the instructional
process. The information offered on this site can be adjusted for different
levels and/or students can be asked to discuss how the information can be
adjusted to their particular teaching situations.
- Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
- Some basic information about teaching and learning would make the site easier to
understand, but is not essential.
- This site provides a good overview about the differences and similarities
between assessment and grading. The Classroom Assessment Techniques (CAT)
website is clear and concise, earning merit through the selection of best
practice advice from assessment experts. The techniques are presented with
simple but explicit tools that can be adapted for use to improve any class.
There are activities that can help instructors ?assess? student understanding so
that appropriate instructional action can be done. The site also provides
examples of rubrics and an explanation about why rubrics are useful. The site
gives concrete examples of activities and estimates the time needed for the
instructor to use the assessment to determine how well students understood
information. The brief discussion about PTA (Primary Trait Analysis) would be a
good beginning for discussing different ways to assess and evaluate student
learning, courses, and curricula.
- No major concerns about the content. While this is not an exhaustive site, it
does provide an overview with specific examples.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
- Simple but explicit assessment tools that can be adapted for use to improve any
class make this Web a very effective teaching tool. Highlights from over twenty
assessment techniques include (1) a tool that focuses on group task assessment,
not on its members, asks group members to identify their sense of the task(s),
explain the organization they see as necessary to accomplishing the task, and
reflect on the diversity of talents and effectiveness of teamwork required to
conclude the task successfully; (2) Reciprocal Classroom Interviews that take
place between two colleagues who interview each other's students in order to
acquire rough answers to questions posed; (3) a Guided Essay technique to make
reflective judgment visible an d to assess the assumptions that students use when
trying to solve ill-structured problems; (4) a classroom participation rubric
that makes visible to both professor and students the main traits of class
participation and what level of performance is expected for each trait; and (5)
RSQC2: Recall, Summarize, Question, Comment, and Connect, an assessment device
that encourages students to recall and review class information comprehensively.
- Some of the examples are content-specific. Faculty should be encouraged to
identify colleagues to develop and share adaptations of the assessment
techniques specific to other disciplines. While the site could be made more
interactive, the instructor can use the site as a base from which to have
students create and be active.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
- The main page is clear and easy to follow. The basic layout is very clear
and consistent. Just enough explanatory text is included for each assessment
technique to make sense of the practical examples. The yellow column format for
the explanatory text and the white background for examples makes following the
- The site would benefit some design improvements. The ?Choices? or navigation
list appears only on the home page, thus navigation requires returning to the
home page to move from one assessment technique to the next. The back button
must be used to return to the main assessment page. Each page should have
buttons that return the user to the site homepage, the main assessment menu, and
any previous links. For example, the rubric should have a link to back to the
page ?A Grading Rubric? where grading rubrics are discussed. While the general
layout is clear and consistent, the yellow area, which presents the
explanations, is sometimes too narrow for ease of reading. Some of the web page
tables are centered while others align at the left. The resulting changes in
format may be imperceptible with some browsers, but the defined width of these
tables become distracting when viewed on a large monitor.
- Other Issues and Comments:
- Faculty will want to review this resource for ideas on how to improve assessment
of learning in each class at the beginning of each semester.
The following quote on the home page epitomizes how this web cuts through the
jargon to get right at the meat of assessment: "Why do we insist on measuring it
with a micrometer when we mark it with chalk and cut it with an axe?"
- Creative Commons: