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Advanced Educational Psychology

Assessing Student Learning
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Assessing Student Learning

Instructional Planning

Systematic, organized strategy for organizing lessons

Why do teachers need lesson objectives?

Where do I begin?

Set goals - What are you wanting to accomplish?

Plan activities - How will I accomplish these goals?

Set priorities - What is most important?

Make Time Estimates - How much per activity?

Create a schedule


Planning Lesson Objectives

Use behavioral objectives

3 parts


What should student be able to do?


Under what conditions do you want the student to be able to do it?


How well must it be done?


State the condition under which learning will be assessed

Given a 30 multiple-choice question exam, students will be able to…………

Via a verbal presentation, the student will be able to………………………..


Action verb that indicates what students will be able to do



Compare and Contrast

Distinguish between


Criteria for acceptable performance

…at least five words in Spanish

….at least 90%

….. at least 4 characteristics


Specific to subject and clear

"Student will appreciate the differences between learners"

How can this be interpreted? Measured?

What would be a better objective?

Link objectives to assessment

Mr. Pallitino, an art teacher, is adamantly opposed to the use of instructional objectives. He argues that they stifle creativity and spontaneity and promote low-level learning. What are some possible arguments to support Mr. Pallitino’s claim? What would be some arguments against his claim?

Using Taxonomies of Instructional Objectives

Bloom’s taxonomy

Create an objective for Bloom’s Taxonomies of the cognitive domain

Knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation

Use your area of specialization

Should there be objectives for schools that are shaped by a state or national agenda? Who should set the agenda?


Measurement of student performance

Quizzes, tests, grades, written evaluations, etc

Why do teachers/schools use tests and grades?

Is my instruction effective? Is student learning?

What are strengths? Weaknesses?

Placement, evaluation


Serve 6 primary purposes:

Feedback to students

Feedback to teachers

Info to parents

Info for selection and certification

Info for accountability

Incentives to increase student effort

Partner Activity

Discuss each of the 6 aforementioned purposes for student evaluations

Whole-class discussion will follow

What are disadvantages to the following?

Returning student test results after several weeks

Posting test scores without returning actual test papers

Returning answer sheets promptly without reviewing correct answers

How is student learning evaluated?

Formative versus Summative

Norm-referenced vs. Criterion-referenced

Discuss with partner

Whole class discussion to follow


Assess what students know before your lecture

Ask questions, pre-tests, informal observation

Help you to gauge student’s level of….

Guard against developing expectations that will distort your perception!

During Instruction

Formative Evaluation

Ongoing observations and monitoring

Oral questions, lesson quizzes

Helps you assess:

Where students are at

Where you should go next

Whether or not a student needs help

How might you use pop quizzes to encourage learning while minimizing the anxiety that tests often provoke?


Assessment after instruction is finished (Summative Evaluation)

Provides info as to:

how well students have mastered the material

Ready for next unit

What grades should be given

Comment to parents

High-Quality Assessments


Consistent, reproducible measures of performance

Stable, dependent, and free of errors


Accurate measure

Does an IQ test really measure intelligence?

Should reflect what you have been teaching

High-Quality Assessments (cont)


All students should have equal opportunity to learn and demonstrate their knowledge and skill


Traditional Objective Tests






Useful with only 2 alternatives

Less demand on reading ability

Scoring is easy, objective, reliable

Large number of questions in small amount of time


No evidence that student knows correct answer

More influenced by guessing

No diagnostic info provided by wrong answers

Difficult to write undeniably t/f statement

Tips for True-False Qs

One central idea

Keep statement short

Precise wording

Avoid double negatives

Avoid extraneous clues

T/F Examples

Which is better? Why?

Springfield is the capital of Illinois

Springfield is the capital of Illinois, is the home of Abe Lincoln and has less than 150,000 people

MLK made important civil rights speeches

MLK never made an unimportant speech

Multiple-Choice Questions


Simple & complex LO can be measured

Broad sample of achievement

Scoring is easy, objective, reliable

Less influenced by guessing


High prep time

Difficult to find distractors

Difficult to assess problem-solving skills

Score can be influenced by reading ability

Tips for MC Questions

Present single problem

Avoid exact textbook wording

Avoid unessential details

Avoid in/exclusive words (none, all)

Avoid obvious patterns

Don’t use narrow distinctions

One best option

Do not give away answer in another test question

MC Examples

The answer to this one refers to an:

A. Overture

B. Mountain

C. Building

D. Misnomer

Why is this a bad question?

MC Examples

The word "gordo" in Spanish means:

A. thin

B. underweight

C. skinny

D. fat

What is wrong with this one?

The freezing point of water is:

A. 31 F

B. 32 F

C. 30 F

D. 33 F

What is wrong with this question?

Culture-fair tests are:

A. always reliable

B. Always Valid

C. Power tests

D. usually nonverbal in order to offset cultural

differences in language

What is wrong with this question?



finding links/associations

Large amount of content


Rote memorization

Students can answer by process of elimination

Constructed-Response Tests

Subjective Tests

Fill in the blank



Write out answers rather than select from list

Short-Answer/Fill-in the Blank


Forces recall

Problem-solving assessment


Unanticipated responses

Score is based on judgment



Highest level of LO can be measured


Less prep-time


High score time


Time constraints

Bad Essay:

Describe all of the significant developments in Mesopotamia from 2,000 to 1,000 BC


Allow time

Worth how many points

Clear and precise questions

Higher-order thinking

Objective or Subjective Test?

test students’ knowledge of terminology used in lab experiments

test must be given and graded in the 2 days before the end of the 6-week grading period

test students’ ability to present a logical argument

test students’ understanding of a few major principles

You have limited time to construct the test

students’ ability to differentiate between major philosophies of democracy and socialism

test students knowledge of foreign countries’ major export goods

Alternative Assessments


student’s ability to perform task in real-life contexts


Collection of student’s work showing growth, self-reflection, achievement


List the incentives/disincentives of:

Being graded on a curve?

Receiving cooperative group grades?

Having to get 90 percent to

make an A?

Pass/fail grading method?

If all forms of evaluating students were eliminated in schools, what would be the impact on students? On teachers? On parents? What might teachers use to motivate students to complete assignments?

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