Alignment in Assessment Strategies

Objective:
The statement alignment in all assessment strategies is crucial to ensure content validity is true. Content validity is defined as “does the assessment align with the curriculum and is it likely to provide sound evidence of achievement” (Griffith Institute for Higher Education, Good Practice Guide).

Assessments are defined as “the specific activities used to collect information about learner competency” (PIDP Evaluation of Learning Key Terminology). The Instructor must use an assessment instrument that is aligned with the instructional method used in delivering the content to the learner. Assessments are an essential part of adult education. They provide the Instructor “with useful feedback on what, how much, and how well their students are learning” (Classroom Assessment Techniques A Handbook for College Teachers pg 3).

“There are many different ways to approach assessment. Assessment strategies involve the same basic steps: identify a learning goal, select an assessment technique, that will measure to what extent the goal has been achieved, apply the assessment technique, analyze the results of the assessment and share the results with the student, and respond to the results and implement and necessary change in teaching strategy or course content (Student Engagement Techniques A Handbook for College Faculty, pg 30). By following these steps will ensure content validity.

Reflective:
Upon reflecting on this statement as an adult educator I lacked knowledge and understanding of reliability and validity prior to starting this module of the PIDP. I was aware that the assessments needed to be aligned to the curriculum and course objectives or outcomes, but lacked knowledge on how to produce criterion referenced evaluations. As educators we must be aware that “assessments have a powerful effect on student learning” (Griffith Institute for Higher Education, Good Practice Guide).

Researching for this journal and other activities in this module of the PIDP has enhanced my knowledge. But I must continue to gain more knowledge on this subject matter to ensure best practice for the learners that I instruct.

Interpretive:
Assessments may be formal or informal, must be ongoing, fair, and serve a purpose to the learner. The assessment must be reliable. Reliability is the “degree to which test scores for a group of test takers are consistent over repeated application of a measurement procedure and hence are inferred to be dependable and repeatable for an individual test taker” (Rudner, William). These assessments can be carried out using a variety of instruments. Examples of instruments are case studies, observation, concept maps, research projects and assignments.

If assessments are “misaligned with learning objectives or instructional strategies, it can undermine both student motivation and learning” (Eberly Center, Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation).

Decisional:
I will need to ensure that I use assessments that are aligned with the learning outcomes related to the learning objectives of the course (Learning Outcomes Assessment Planning Guide). And ensure that the assessment measures appropriate content and skills (content validity).

In my practice I always review with the learner in person or provide descriptive written feedback on the learner’s performance on every assessment in a timely manner. This benefits the learner, as they learn from their mistakes, identify their strengths and deficits. And provides the learner the opportunity to engage in self reflection regarding their progress in the course.

I feel that I still have a lot to learn about this statement. I will develop more knowledge during this module of the PIDP. If I do not have a clear understanding upon completion of this module I need to be accountable and responsible to require to engage in further professional development.

References:

Angelo, Thomas, A., Cross, Patricia, K., (1993) Classroom Assessment Techniques A Handbook for College Teachers, Second Edition

Barkley, Elizabeth, F., (2010), Student Engagement Techniques A Handbook for College Faculty

CAL POLY, Learning Outcomes Assessment Planning Guide, – Academic Programs, Retrieved from the World Wide Web on May 14, 2013, http://www.academicprograms.calpoly.edu/assessment/assessplanguide.htm

Eberly Center, Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation, Retrieved from the World Wide Web on May 17, 2013, http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/assessment/basics/alignment.html

Griffith University, Griffith Institute for Higher Education Good Practice Guide,Retrieved from the World Wide Web on May 17, 2013,
http://www.griffith.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/52862/gihe_tipsheet_web_dea.pdf

Rudner, Lawrence, M., Schafer, William, D., (2002) What Teachers Need to Know about Assessment, Retrieved from the World Wide Web on May 14, 2013, http://aplingspotlightproject.wikispaces.umb.edu/file/view/What+Teachers+Need+to+Know+About+Assessment.pdf

School of Instructor Education, May 2013 PIDP 3230 Key Terminology, Vancouver, BC: Vancouver Community College

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