Assessment in Higher Education: Professional Development for Teachers

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  • The role of assessment in higher education
    • In the first week of this course you’ll get insight in some basic but fundamental questions about assessment. Why do we assess in higher education? What are possible positive and negative effects of assessment? And in what way can we make an effort in choosing the most appropriate assessment method(s). Some leading experts on assessment are introduced to you and might enlighten your thoughts. Additionally, you will be introduced to the Utility formula, which will assist you in making purposeful assessment choices.
  • The Assessment Cycle
  • The Assessment Plan
    • As research shows, assessment plays an important role in steering the learning process. There is, however, not one best method of assessment. So, how can you select the right methods of assessments for your course? Making an assessment plan can help you select the right testing methods and decide on the relative weight of each assessment for the final result of a course. An assessment plan also helps to ensure that the assessment addresses the intended learning outcomes. In addition, it provides a good overview of the test arrangement for a course that will be published in the course manual. This makes an assessment plan a helpful tool for examiners and an important instrument for quality assurance. With an assessment matrix, you ensure that all the selected learning objectives are covered in your assessment. This also helps to ensure that your assessment will be both valid and reliable.
      Whereas making an assessment matrix may feel like additional work, using it will actually save you time as you will develop questions and assignments that exactly match your learning objectives and you avoid the risk of formulating too many questions that are aimed at the same content or skill.
  • Feedback & grading design
    • In module 1 you have learned about assessment FOR learning and the role assessments play in the learning process of students. In this module we will take this to the next step. You will learn why feedback is so important and how to provide feedback using rubrics. Did you know there are different types of rubrics? Depending on the function of the rubric each type has both its advantages and disadvantages. This module will help you deciding what type of rubric suits your needs. In the stage of grading, methods of setting a cut-off score are important. You will learn about different methods of setting a cut-off score and the advantages and disadvantages of these methods.
  • Assessment construction
    • The results of student assessments often have far-reaching consequences for their educational or even professional careers. When we allow our assessments to have such impacts on people’s careers, it is of the utmost importance that we are very sure that our measurement is reliable and accurate and a valid representation of students’ actual abilities…. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. The goal for this module is to help you to apply quality criteria for the construction of assessments and assessment items. Because, if we improve the quality of our assessments, we improve the quality of our education, and we will have a huge impact on the future education and careers of our students.
  • Assessment Analysis and Evaluation
    • When an assessment has been conducted, there is often a lot of time pressure on grading and publishing the results. However, an important step to take before communicating grades to students is to analyse students’ performance on the different tasks or questions. This will provide you, as an examiner, with invaluable information. Not only about your students’ performance, but also about the quality of your assessment as well as your own teaching. On which aspects did students perform well, and where did they fail? If good students fail on certain questions, what does this say about the question… or about your teaching? You may need to decide on how to fix certain errors or unexpected situations and think about how this affects students’ grades. What are the things to consider when performing an exam or item analysis? What do you look for? How do you draw conclusions and make plans for future improvements?