Go to Collaborative Learning Go to FLAG Home Go to Search
Go to Learning Through Technology Go to Site Map
Go to Who We Are
Go to College Level One Home
Go to Introduction Go to Assessment Primer Go to Matching CATs to Goals Go to Classroom Assessment Techniques Go To Tools Go to Resources

Go to CATs overview
Go to Attitude survey
Go to ConcepTests
Go to Concept mapping
Go to Conceptual diagnostic tests
Go to Interviews
Go to Mathematical thinking
Go to Performance assessment
Go to Portfolios
Go to Scoring rubrics
Go to Student assessment of learning gains (SALG)
Go to Weekly reports

Go to previous page

Classroom Assessment Techniques
Scoring Rubrics

(Screen 5 of 6)
Go to next page

Theory and Research
What is assessment? Simply, assessment is data collection with a purpose. In each of our courses, we engage in the process of gathering data about our students' learning. The type of data we gather depends on the evidence we will accept that students have learned what we want them to learn. Generally, the data we collect are intended to be measures of students' knowledge, attitudes and performance. Ideally, these data are also matched or "aligned" with the goals of the course and our daily or weekly course activities.

Four functions of assessment data are described by Hodson (1992):

We need confidence in the quality of the data we gather about our students if we want to justify our subsequent decisions about teaching. Many of us who teach introductory science courses are dissatisfied with the type of evidence we are collecting about our students' learning. We admit that data from multiple choice tests measure inert bits of knowledge and some comprehension but provide us incomplete and inadequate feedback about our students' learning. We would like to use alternative forms of assessment to gather multiple, substantive forms of data about active student learning, such as understanding, analysis, reasoning, and synthesis (Ebert-May et al 1997). These kinds of assessments include short answer items, essays, minute papers, oral communication, poster presentations, laboratory projects and research papers, but because of large class sizes and individual research priorities we have limited time to evaluate extended responses from students.

Assessment is learning. We and our students both benefit from meaningful assessment information about the achievement of the broader course goals. Multiple assessment strategies can be implemented to provide evidence that students have or have not learned, have or have not accomplished the goals of the course. Rubrics help us set well-defined standards for our students, provide students guidelines for achieving those standards and facilitate grading extended written and oral responses. This feedback provides us data to interpret and make informed decisions about our students' learning and our own teaching practice, similar to the process of data evaluation that we use daily in our scientific research.


Ebert-May D, Brewer C, Allred S. 1997. Innovation in large lectures-teachings for active learning. Bioscience 47: 601-607.

Freeman, RHL. 1994. Open-ended questioning: a handbook for educators. Menlo Park, California; Reading, Massachusetts; New York; Don Mills, Ontario; Wokingham, England; Amsterdam; Bonn; Sydney; Singapore; Tokyo; Madrid; San Juan; Paris; Seoul; Milan; Mexico City; Taipei. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company (The book is published by Innovative Learningª, an imprint of the Addison-Wesley Alternative Publishing Group.)

King PM, Kitchener KS. 1994. Developing reflective judgement: understanding and promoting intellectual growth and critical thinking in adolescents and adults. San Francisco (CA): Jossey-Bass Publishers.

MacGregor J. 1993. Student self-evaluation: fostering reflective learning. San Francisco (CA): Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Magolda, MBB. 1992. Knowing and reasoning in college: gender-related students' intellectual development. San Francisco (CA): Jossey-Bass Publishers.

National Research Council. 1996. National science education standards. Washington (DC): National Academy Press.

Novak JD, Gowin DB. 1984. Learning how to learn. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Go to previous page Go to next page

Tell me more about this technique:

Got to the top of the page.

Introduction || Assessment Primer || Matching Goals to CATs || CATs || Tools || Resources

Search || Who We Are || Site Map || Meet the CL-1 Team || WebMaster || Copyright || Download
College Level One (CL-1) Home || Collaborative Learning || FLAG || Learning Through Technology || NISE