Matching Assessment Items to Learning Objectives

Matching Assessment Items to Learning Objectives
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  • 0:00 Learning Objectives &…
  • 1:41 Assessments Match Instruction
  • 2:34 Assessment Must Be Valid
  • 3:44 Assessment Must Have Depth
  • 4:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jessica Whittemore

Jessica has taught junior high history and college seminar courses. She has a master's degree in education.

This lesson explains the importance of matching assessment tools to learning objectives. The lesson defines both terms and highlights the importance of assessment validity and assessment depth.

Learning Objectives & Assessment

Like in any profession, there are effective teachers and there are not-so-effective teachers. Effective teachers continually work toward proper outcomes and assessments. In other words, they make sure they actually teach the material they are testing on. Not-so-effective teachers don't.

Effective teachers grapple with questions like:

  • What do I want my students to learn?
  • What sort of activities will help them learn?
  • How will I know when they've learned?

Not-so-effective teachers don't.

In the hopes of helping us all be counted as members of the former group and not the latter (after all, who doesn't want to be effective?), today's lesson is devoted to making sure our methods of student assessment match our learning outcomes.

Getting some housekeeping tasks out of the way, let's first define some terms. For starters, we'll define learning objectives as the expected outcomes desired after instruction, and we'll define assessment as the process of evaluating student progress toward mastering learning objectives. For example, if today's lesson was entitled 'The Art of Baking Cookies,' its overall objective might be, 'Students will master the knowledge and understanding needed to create an edible and tasty cookie.' One assessment of this outcome could be students developing then baking their own original recipe of a cookie.

With these terms under our belts, let's move on to three steps we can take to ensure our outcomes and our assessments match. Yes, there are a host of others that could take up days, but for sake of time, we'll focus on these very important three.

Assessments Match Instruction

Step 1: We need to make sure our assessments match our instruction. In other words, only test what you teach. If we mess this one up, our biggest outcome will most likely be student frustration!

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