In effect, we strive to engage in course-embedded assessment (also called “authentic assessment”) at NAU. Course-embedded assessment refers to methods of assessing student learning within the classroom environment, using course goals, objectives and content to gauge the extent of learning that is taking place. This technique generates information about what and how students are learning within the program and classroom environment, using existing information that instructors routinely collect (test performance, short answer performance, quizzes, essays, etc.) or through assessment instruments introduced into a course specifically for the purpose of measuring student learning.
Including assessment on your Curriculum Map
–adapted from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst “Program-Based Review & Assessment Tools & Techniques for Program Improvement,” (April 2017).
Based on this information it might be useful to add assessment information to your curriculum map. Instructors and departments are already assessing student learning through a variety of methods including assignments, exams, etc., though you may not have called these elements “assessment.” To add assessment aspects to your map, you might want to include an “A” in the matrix for the courses where you conduct a formal assessment. An assessment matrix is a particularly useful way of linking outcomes to assessment tools, program requirements and course curricula.
Enlist the assistance of assessment and testing specialists when you plan to create, adapt, or revise assessment instruments. Staff in the Office of Curriculum, Learning Design & Academic Assessment (LINK) are happy to assist you in finding the appropriate resources and helping you to design the assessment. Areas in which you might want to seek assistance include:
- ensuring validity and reliability of test instruments;
- ensuring validity and reliability of qualitative methods;
- identifying appropriate assessment measurements for specific goals and tasks; and
- analyzing and interpreting quantitative and qualitative data collected as part of your assessment plan.
Adapted from Western Washington University’s Tools & Techniques for Program Improvement: Handbook for Program Review & Assessment of Student Learning (2006)