FAQ

FAQ about Assessment

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What is assessment for learning?

“Assessment for learning”, also often called “formative assessment”, refers to assessment (methods) used by teachers and students to gather evidence of students learning. The information is used to adjust the teaching process and to provide feedback to the students about their learning process and achievement of the learning goals. Assessment FOR learning differs from assessment OF learning, also often called “summative learning. To get a quick overview, see <here>. 

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What is the difference between formative and summative assessment?

Formative: Is an assessment approach where assessment is seen as part of the teaching  or instructional process. The purpose of formative assessment is to help students in their learning. So assessment is used in a diagnostically way. Formative assessment make it possible to adjust your teaching or to adjust student's learning based on the provided information. Feedback and student involvement are very important in this assessment approach. Here you can find an overall schedule of formative assessment tools.   

Summative: Is an assessment method based on norms or criteria to evaluate at a certain point what students know and don't know after a specific period. Mainly summative assessment is used to measure student's learning in comparison with others, to grade their level of learning for the purpose of getting their final degree, or to see if your teaching resulted in the level of learning you expected. Summative assessment doesn't give you a lot of insights into the learning process of students, and also makes it very difficult to adjust teaching or learning very fast (during the course). Validity, reliability and transparency are very import in this assessment approach.  

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What kind of test do you use for which purpose?  

When deciding which assessment method you are going to choose, it is important that your assessment method is in line with your course content (teaching activities) and learning objectives. In other words, you need constructive alignment of your educational program. In this document you find different kind of assessment methods related to learning objectives and course content.   

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What is the difference between a test plan and a test specification table?

A test plan is an overview of the tests that are used to assess the learning outcomes of a course of study.

A test specification matrix is an outline of a single exam. It matches the learning outcomes of a course of study to the assessments, ensuring that all learning outcomes are being assessed and being weighted correctly.

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What is a test plan or a test scheme and what does it look like?

A test plan helps with making sure your test is valid. It helps you making sure that you test what you want to test. It provides an overview of all tests involved in your course/module in relation to the learning outcomes/objectives of the course/module.

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What is a test matrix or test specification table and what does it look like?

A test specification table is also called a test matrix.

A test specification table helps to ensure that there is a match between what should be learned (objectives), what is taught and what is tested. It also ensures transparency (for yourself but also for colleagues) and repeatability.
A test specification table zooms in on an individual (written) test. For assignments like a report or presentation a test specification table isn;t necessary.

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How can I formulate good multiple choice questions?

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How can I formulate good open questions?

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How do you decide which testing method you are going to use?

There are many different testing methods which you can use, as long as they fit with your learning objectives and your teaching methods.In the following articles you can find more information about different testing methods.

Useful overview of possible assessing methods related to objectives.

Classroom assessment techniques: Descriptions and implementation suggestions for 13 different assessment methods

An article for discussion: the value of mc-tests as learning tools.

If-AT assessment method: If*AT stands for Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique. For more information see the following website: http://www.epsteineducation.com/home/about/default.aspx, or have a look in the attached documents.

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Can I use multiple choice questions for testing higher order thinking skills/the higher levels of Blooms taxonomy?

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How do I calculate the grade for a multiple choice exam, taking guessing into account?

Use this tool to calculate the cutting score.

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What is a rubric and what does it look like?

Click here for more information about rubrics and examples of rubrics.

Rubrics for project work

Rubrics for scientific literature search

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