Assessment Types to Include in Your Course
To effectively teach your course, it’s important to have clear and well-designed learning outcomes, assessments and feedback. Without these three things, it’s difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of your course as you go along. Because of this, taking the time to write good course writing and assessment will save you time in the long run. Here are some tips on how to do that.
5 things you can do to improve your course writing and assessment. 1) Make a plan 2) Collaborate 3) Practice 4) Teach 5) Co-teach
Multiple choice questions
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that multiple choice questions are far easier to grade and score than, say, essay questions. Not only is it easy to give each answer equal weight (if we assign points for every answer that’s chosen), but it can also be done quickly and easily by computer. When you consider how much time is spent on grading essays (both in terms of teachers’ prep time and in terms of student time waiting for grades), it’s clear why a shift away from essays toward multiple choice is so appealing. Some students will certainly feel cheated by a lack of creative expression, but I doubt any instructor has ever been accused of being too generous with marks!
While there’s a place for true/false questions on standardized tests, many high school teachers choose to avoid them. That’s because they tend to discourage in-depth understanding of subject matter and encourage guessing rather than solid reasoning skills. If you want your students to think critically about course material, don’t settle for less. Write assessments that require short answers or essays instead. Then, edit and grade these assignments carefully—your feedback can help guide learning as well as provide valuable insight into how you can improve course writing in future semesters.
Course writing and assessment go hand in hand. You can’t create an effective course if you aren’t creating a detailed plan for how to assess your students. Likewise, you can’t build an effective assessment system if you don’t know what kind of course to build in order to make that system useful. In short, it is necessary to spend time thinking about both parts together. This way, you will be able to best understand exactly how they fit together – and how they affect each other. What kinds of results do I want my students to achieve? How do I know if they are achieving those results? These are questions worth spending some time on before getting into any further detail about course or assessment design.
Open ended questions
One of my favorite ways to get students to reflect on their learning is through open-ended questions. Instead of simple multiple choice questions, I like to think up scenarios that they might encounter and then ask them to tell me how they would respond. For example, I have a question about a student deciding not do anything as part of an assessment, which forces me as a teacher to consider what type of impact that might have on grading and feedback for future assessments or course work. By giving them space to write out their thoughts in whatever way works best for them (essay, list, graphic organizer), it not only allows them time to think about their response but also lets me see how comfortable they are writing about complex issues.