Why do Assessment?Are you asking too little of your class?
There is considerable evidence showing that assessment drives student learning. More than anything else, our assessment tools tell students what we consider to be important. They will learn what we guide them to learn through our assessments.
This Primer is designed to welcome you to the world of classroom assessment. The College Level One (CL-1) Team assumes you are here because you are interested in better ways to assess student learning in your class and in helping your students become more reflective and effective learners.
One goal of this website is to provide resources that enable you to begin this journey to more effective assessment of student learning. The first step is to articulate your course goals. Once you have identified your course goals, this website presents Classroom Assessment Techniques or CATs that are aligned with them. The CATs are a rich, eye-opening source of ideas and associated tools that have been extensively field-tested by your colleagues across the spectrum of STEM disciplines and post-secondary institutions. We encourage you to explore the CATs to see how you can work with your class to assess their understanding, skills, and attitudes through concept maps, conceptests, Fermi tests, interviews, portfolios, and other related techniques and tools. If you are not familiar with these forms of assessment, we are confident that you will discover, as we have, that they provide paths to a broader and deeper understanding of student learning for both you and your students.
We close by noting that assessment is undergoing exciting changes in college STEM courses. The overarching intent of this website is to capture the vitality of assessment. The CL-1 Team views assessment as a moving target and this website as a living product, providing both a mechanism for rapid dissemination of assessment-related developments and a forum for their discussion. In this spirit, the CL-1 Team invites you to join the growing number of college STEM instructors who are identifying and developing new tools that can be used to assess student learning and to share your ideas and experiences with us. We welcome your feedback and encourage you to contact us.