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We teach. We test. How do we accurately measure the level of student learning? The following resources offer guidance in developing concise and measurable goals, evaluating the attainment of those goals, and adjusting teaching methodologies to improve student learning.

Richard Ekman and Stephen Pelletier, "Assessing Student Learning: A Work in Progress." Change Vol. 40 No. 4 (2008), 14 – 19.

Overview: This particular article described a process of institutionally evaluating the degree of student learning from their first to senior years. Instead of administering a multiple choice (multiple guess) standardized test at the first and fourth years to assess learning progress, they advocate administering essays. Though this article discusses instructional evaluation the same process or idea can be broken down based on discipline (have the student write an essay at the beginning and end of their major), general education (beginning and end of GE courses), and even individual courses (beginning and end of class).

  • Pose a real world issue and ask student to synthesize information, evaluate evidence, and construct a counter argument.

Three measurements

  • Degree of ability to clearly make and justify an argument.
  • Degree of ability to evaluate and critique an opposing argument.
  • Using provided materials, data, or evidence degree of ability to construct a real-world report or briefing.>pdf
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