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Assessing Student Learning

Student assessment is, arguably, the centerpiece of the teaching and learning process and therefore the subject of much discussion in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Without some method of obtaining and analyzing evidence of student learning, we can never know whether our teaching is making a difference. That is, teaching requires some process through which we can come to know whether students are developing the desired knowledge and skills, and therefore whether our instruction is effective. Learning assessment is like a magnifying glass we hold up to students’ learning to discern whether the teaching and learning process is functioning well or is in need of change.

The Center for Teaching’s Joe Bandy created and narrated these videos for Vanderbilt University’s Online Course Design Institute. As a result, the narration includes some references to other institute modules.

Part 1 Introduction to Learning Assessment

Part 2 Engaging and Generative Assessments

Part 3 Evaluation and Communication

Part 4 Inclusive and Equitable Assessment

Part 5 Collaborative Assessment

Video References

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  • Bandy, J., Price, M. F., Clayton, P. H., Metzker, J., Nigro, G., Stanlick, S., Etheridge Woodson, S., Bartel, A., & Gale, S. (2018). Democratically engaged assessment: Reimagining the purposes and practices of assessment in community engagement. Davis, CA: Imagining America
  • Bransford, J.D., A.L. Brown, R.R. Cocking, Eds. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Expanded Edition. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
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  • Dweck, C. S. (1999) Self-theories: Their role in motivation, personality and development. Psychology Press, Hove
  • Falvey, M., Givner, C., & Kimm, C. (1995). What is an inclusive school? In R. Villa & J. Thousand (Eds.), Creating an inclusive school (pp. 1-12). Alexandria , VA : Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
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  • Gonzalez, J. (2015). Meet the single-point rubric. Cult of Pedagogy blog. February 4th.
  • Hamraie, A. (2020). Accessible teaching in the time of COVID-19. Mapping Access blog. March 10th.
  • Hattie, J. (1987). Identifying the salient facets of a model of student learning: A synthesis of meta-analyses. International Journal of Educational Research, 11(2), 187-212.
  • hooks, b. 1994. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. Routledge.
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  • Lombardi, M.M. (2008). Making the grade: The role of assessment in authentic learning. Educause Learning Initiative.
  • Milner, H.R. (2012). Beyond a test score: Explaining opportunity gaps in educational practice. Journal of Black Studies, 43(6): 693-718.
  • Pinantoan, A. (2013). Instructional scaffolding: A definitive guide. informED.
  • Plutarch. (1927). On Listening to Lectures. In. Moralia. pp. 201-59. Translated by F.C. Babbitt.
  • Saltmarsh, J., Hartley, M., & Clayton, P. H. (2009). Democratic engagement white paper. Boston: New England Resource Center for Higher Education.
  • Steele, C. (2011). Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do. W.W. Norton & Company.
  • Walvoord, B.E. (2010). Assessment Clear and Simple: Practical Guide for Institutions, Departments, and General Education, Second Edition. Jossey-Bass.
  • Weimer, M. (2013). Learner-centered teaching. Five key changes to practice. Second Edition. Jossey-Bass.
  • Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2011). The Understanding by Design guide to creating high-quality units. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
  • Xu, Di, & Jaggars, S.S. (2014). Performance Gaps between Online and Face-to-Face Courses: Differences across Types of Students and Academic Subject Areas. The Journal of Higher Education, 85(5): 633-59.