Creating an assessment plan

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What methods of assessment would be ideal to allow your students to learn the most?

Making an assessment plan can help you select the right methods of assessment and decide on the relative weight of each assessment for the final result of the course. A assessment plan also helps ensure constructive alignment.  An assessment plan can be a helpful tool for teachers and an instrument for quality assurance.

Steps in writing an assessment plan

Select appropriate assessment methods

  1. Look back at the program level learning outcomes. Think about how your course learning outcomes are aligned to the broader program learning outcomes and how your assessments might also be used to evaluate students against these broader outcomes. Consider also how your course fits into the program as a whole – how will your assessments build on assessments students have previously taken in other courses? How will your assessments prepare students for future courses?
  2. Consider the course learning outcomes. What would be the ideal method of measuring student achievement of these outcomes?
  3. Look at the cognitive action verb (Bloom’s Taxonomy) at the beginning of each learning outcome. This can guide you about the cognitive load and assessment task. In other words, if one of the learning outcomes begins with the verb “Analyze” then it is probably a good idea to have students analyze something during one of the assessments. You may want to create an overview:

Level of cognition according to Bloom’s taxonomy

Course learning outcomes Remember Understand Apply Analyze Evaluate Create Total points
LO1   X         20
LO2       X     20
LO3           X 60
Total points   20   30   50 100

Allocate appropriate grade weights to each assessment

4. Look at GIHE’s assessment policy for specific guidance about the number of assessments per course and the acceptable split of grades or grade weighting between the assessments.

5. Create an assessment plan overview. For example:

Course learning outcomes Assessment methods
Group project Individual presentation
LO1 X  
LO2 X  
LO3   X
Weighting 40% 60%

6. Check for the risk of “over assessment”. It is not necessary to assess student achievement of every learning outcome in all assessments. It is a better idea to split assessment of learning outcomes between the different assessments.