Assessment and Evaluation

ASSESSMENT is the systematic collection of data to monitor the success of a program or course in achieving intended learning outcomes (ILOs)* for students.  Assessment is used to determine:

  • What students have learned (outcome)
  • The way they learned the material (process)
  • Their approach to learning before, during, or after the program or course

You can assess students before instruction to get a baseline of what students know (for example, by administering a pretest).  During instruction, assessment can be used to determine what students are learning so you can adjust your teaching, if needed.  Quizzes or mud cards, which ask students to identify the “muddiest point” that remains for them after the class, are two methods of this kind of “formative assessment.”  After instruction, you can use assessment for two purposes:  (1) to determine if there has been a change in knowledge (final exams can be used for “summative assessment”); and (2) to provide you with information to revise the class or program.

EVALUATION is a judgment by the instructor or educational researcher about whether the program or instruction has met its Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO).

*The term intended learning outcomes is from (Biggs, J and Tang, C. (2011): Teaching for Quality Learning at University, (McGraw-Hill and Open University Press, Maidenhead)