But how do we ensure our assessments are fit for purpose? And what are the best practices when assessing learning interventions in order to achieve what we want to achieve?
For example, when we assess learners through quizzes and exams, do we know that they have learned, or is it that they can simply regurgitate information to be forgotten as soon as the assessment is over?
The answer is, it depends on how we develop our assessment activities.
In the first section in this learning path we look at summative assessment; assessment OF learning is the way in which we test our learners to check if they've learned what we've set out for them to learn.
The next section covers Assessment FOR learning, which is a useful tool to inform us as instructors and learning designers. One of the most important elements (if not THE most important) is the use of feedback to involve your learners more in the learning process and see their path ahead.
The third section on Assessment AS learning discusses how, while often being used to measure learning, assessment can also be used as a tool for learning.
The key element of assessment as learning is the use of self-assessment by learners, providing them with opportunities to reflect on their own learning and make adjustments so that they achieve a deeper learning experience.
Finally, we look at some tips relating to the above as well as how we can look to be innovative in our approaches. I am a Design Sprint Facilitator and advocate the use of techniques such as Design Thinking to help us as learning designers and developers to engage with new and innovative ways of delivering effective and engaging learning experiences!
You will all be aware of assessment of learning; however, is it effective and does it help our learners? One thing we can do is to involve learners in the development of assessment activities. Take a look at the video here from JISC that outlines why it is useful to have our learners as partners. The article from eLearning Industry outlines some best practices with regard to assessment, including what I feel is an important point, is a knowledge check always necessary? It might be worth considering peer or self assessment at this point. I've also attached a short explanatory video here on tips for peer assessment that you may find useful.
For those still unsure about the differences in assessment OF learning and assessment FOR learning, check out the short video attached which I feel explains this quite nicely. The video here from The Education Hub is focused towards child learning, but the same principles apply; this video nicely outlines the importance of feedback for learning and how to do it well! I have also included a nice animated video on assessment for learning that has a few nice tips.
This video from Northeastern University School of Law should provide you with some information on the benefits of allowing learners to self-assess and reflect on their learning. I'm sneaking in the TEDx video on self-reflection as Tesia Marshik makes some interesting points, while she also addresses one of my own pet peeves: learning styles! Providing learners with opportunities for reflection is key. I have included a short video on reflective writing that you may find useful.
The attached article from eLearning Industry provides a few tips to create assessments that do more than just test learners or gather data. I particularly like the focus on authenticity; I often find that we as learning developers don't take our learners into account as much as we should! Also, check out this short video on empowering learners that I feel is relevant to this learning path. It briefly mentions the iterative process of self-assessment as well as self-directed learning, which as we know is critical for successful adult learning experiences! Finally, think innovation when it comes to designing your assessments!