Flow Chart 1: Developing
the department exam
|Select the course to be assessed
- Pick a winner. Think about the "readiness" factor. We want
this to be a success.
- Aim for the widest student coverage: multiple sections,
multiple teachers, multiple instructional formats.
- Enlist teachers who are already confident in their teacher
and classroom assessment practices, and comfortable working with
- Refer to the department assessment plan.
|Review and confirm the course learning
- Be sure that the learning outcomes describe what we want
students to learn, and accurately reflect the course as it is
- Revise, delete, and add as needed. Get approval from your
Department Chair and the Asst. V.P. for Academic Programs for
- Reach agreement among all faculty for any changes.
- Use the MV version of Bloom's Taxonomy for writing and
measurable learning outcomes.
|Select the best assessment tool
- Use a direct method of observing and measuring student
- Select a format that has already been used with success by
individual teachers in their classrooms.
- Keep the length and scope manageable-no more than 50% of the
total exam period-to allow individual faculty to customize the
remaining exam time.
- Align the questions closely to the learning outcomes, and
- Assess only what can be measured accurately and fairly in
the chosen format.
|Create the assessment tool
- Begin early; this may take more time than expected.
- Create a tool with balance and context that reflects the
course as it is: (a.) described in the course outline, and (b.)
currently being taught in the classrooms.
- Create a tool that will endure, and can be used in
subsequent semesters to measure changes in student achievement
|Administer the assessment tool
* Who is involved
* Testing dates/times
* Security procedures
* Scoring procedures
- Notify everyone involved
- Prepare student test materials
- Discuss the procedures and anticipate problems.
Flow Chart 2: Making
effective use of the results
|Look closely at the results information
- Bring as many people as possible into the discussion.
- Look for significant findings:
* Student achievement measured against learning outcomes.
* Effective of environmental variables on student achievement.
* Test construction barriers to valid results.
* Textbook appropriateness.
|Develop ideas for change
- Keep an open mind:
* Don't discount ideas prematurely.
* Don't cling to unsupported anecdotal beliefs.
- Ask important questions:
* How would a change to curriculum or instruction lead to
improved student learning?
* What level of faculty buy-in would be required to fully
implement a change?
* After a change has been implemented, how would we know that
student learning has improved?
|Separate and prioritize the ideas
* Individual classroom
* Some classrooms
* All classrooms
- Conditions and resources
* Within the current
* Requiring new or different
* Most important
* Most urgent
* Most faculty support
* Most administrative support
|Create and implement a plan for change
- Ask important questions:
* What are the current conditions (that need to be changed?
* What specifically needs to be improved?
* How do the student assessment results support the recommended
* What will the new conditions look like?
* How will we get to the new conditions?
* What new resources will be required?
* How will we monitor and follow through?
- Get approvals.
- Get commitments.
- Implement the changes
|Reassess student achievement to measure
- Replicate earlier methods whenever possible—compare apples
- Document changes in student achievement.
- Look for correlation between changes to conditions and
improvements in student achievement.
- Search for ways to quantify improvements—data and words.
- Celebrate successes.
- Report beyond the department.