A Legacy of W.K. Kellogg

Sample Assessment Instruments

Sample Student Survey Questions

CSU Channel Islands Student Survey for Formative Use:

CSU Channel Islands uses this survey for their end-of-term student ratings. It is offered here as a way to gather feedback from your students about how the course is progressing.

Tom Angelo's Student Survey:

Tom Angelo (UNC Chapel Hill) is a giant in the "practical, instructor-friendly" assessment field. This robust survey can be used to gather feedback from students about a course in progress.

Start-Stop-Continue Survey:

Provides descriptive, qualitative information about what helps and does not help students to learn in class.

AAC&U Value Rubrics

VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) Rubrics are a set of 16 "gold standard" rubrics that cover the range of student work including: Inquiry and Analysis, Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Written Communication, Oral Communication, Quantitative Literacy, Information Literacy, Reading, Teamwork, Problem Solving, Civic Knowledge and Engagement – Local and Global, Intercultural Knowledge and Competence, Ethical Reasoning and Action, Global Learning, Foundations and Skills for Lifelong Learning, and Integrative Learning.

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATS)

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) are a variety of activities and exercises designed to help instructors figure out if their students are "getting it."

CATs examples:

Muddiest Point:

Students write about what was the "muddiest" (least clear) point in a class period. Instructors can use the data to determine if they need to go over something again. The exercise is valuable for students because they reflect on the class and self-assess their own understanding.

Misconception/Preconception Check:

At the start of the term, the instructor of a pre-Columbian history course gathered information on what each student already knew about the Americas and Native Americans before 1492. Students answered the following questions:

Example for Misconception/Preconception Check[7]

At the start of the term, the instructor of a pre-Columbian history course gathered information on what each student already knew about the Americas and Native Americans before 1492. Students answered the following questions:

  1. About how many people lived in North America in 1491?
  2. About how long had they been on this continent by 1491?
  3. What significant achievements had they made in that time?
  4. Then, the instructor asked a fourth question:

  5. Where did you get those first three answers?

At the end of class, the instructor gave the students their first library research assignment: work in pairs to double-check the accuracy of their answers to the first three questions.

Systematic Progression of Assignments

You can track the growth of students' skills and knowledge through a series of course assignments.

Accounting Example: Tracking Skills and Knowledge through a Series of Assignments
Assignment Why Use? Assess What?
One-paragraph audit report (first four weeks of the term) Begin to expose students to techniques on writing clear and easy to understand accounting documents. Basic understanding of accounting practice and general technical writing skills.
One-page audit report (at week 3) Help students learn to expand on introductory exposure to writing audit reports. Moderate understanding of accounting practice and ability to explain the results of this practice to layperson. Technical writing skills.
Two-page audit report with charts and tables (week 5) Offer students the opportunity to create more formal, explanatory report in greater detail and help them learn to provide examples from accounting and use effective graphs and charts. Solid understanding of accounting practice and increased ability to translate results in a format that will be easily accessed by the reader.
Formal oral presentation with audio-visual aids and written 5-7 page report with charts and tables Present a real-life scenario that asks students to prepare and present results of accounting practice, as might be required in the corporate world. In-depth understanding of accounting practice. Strong oral and written presentation skills. Ability to translate classroom theory into a hypothetical situation.
Two essay exams, one at mid-term and one at the end of the term Ask students to write short essay questions related to course concepts and lectures. Evaluate particular broad course concepts that are interconnected through each class discussion and each assignment outlined earlier in this table.

These sample assignments can be found from the Course Based Review and Assessment: Methods for Understanding Student Learning by Office of Academic Planning & Assessment, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Instructor Self-Assessment

Stephen Brookfield’s Critical Incidents Questionnaire:

Presented here as a student instrument but readily adapted to instructor use for documenting a class.

Teaching Philosophy Statements:

Teaching philosophies allow instructors to carefully self-assess and articulate their beliefs and values about teaching and learning, and to determine if their actions support those beliefs and values.

Pre- and Post- Indirect Measures of Learning

Knowledge Survey:

A knowledge survey asks students to assess their ability to meet detailed learning outcomes that cover the entire content of the course. Students complete the knowledge survey before the beginning and end of the course. Learn more about how to employ knowledge surveys.

Pre- and Post- Direct Measures of Learning[8]

First Writing and Correction Exercise:

In the first week, have students write an essay that defines key concepts, describes processes, or otherwise asks students to demonstrate their current mastery of the subject (don’t grade this, give credit for completion only). For the final exam, students consider themselves as "experts" and correct and critique their own first-week writing assignment.

First Week Essays (Ungraded) and "Value-Added" Essay (Final Exam):

Identify several statements that address the content of the course. The first week of class, ask students to rate their agreement or disagreement with each statement, briefly giving a reason why. For a final paper, ask students to write longer essays addressing the statements, using evidence from the course and discussing whether or not (and why) they have changed their original stance. See an example of this strategy: Pre-post Learning Activity Example, AG 101.

First Week Final Exam (Ungraded) and Final Exam:

Give a "diagnostic" exam in the first week of class, giving credit only for completion (you might use a final from a couple of years ago). Give a similar exam as the final. Measure student gain.