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Topic: Evaluation
Replies: 7   Last Post: May 1, 1995 12:04 AM

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Laura Petersen

Posts: 16
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Evaluation
Posted: Apr 28, 1995 11:54 AM
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When I design a course, assessment is first. I ask myself, "What will
these students be able to do or be like when they have mastered a
particular skill or concept?" Then I try to design an assessment that
lets them try to do that. The hard part is coming up with assessments
that are practical because of the number of students, the very limited
class time for assessment in the college setting, and the burden on me of
doing the evaluation.

As for grading, I think that an A is outstanding performance in the
assessment, B is good performance (perhaps not grasping the finer details
or showing the quality of thought of an outstanding performance) and C is
acceptable performance i.e. the person can go on to the next skill but
certainly hasn't gone above the proficiency level of mastery. If
everyone gets an A, so be it.(Perhaps I can increase the my expectations
in the future and ask them to do more. Perhaps I am just satisifed.
If everyone gets a C, so be it (although I
had better reevaluate how the concept was introduced and practiced!)
Absolutely essential is to let the students know from the beginning how
they will be assessed and what they must do to be outstanding, good, or
proficient. And what the consequences will be if they aren't proficient!

As for the political consequences, it is far easier to justify your
expectations and assessments when you are teaching a "non-terminal"
course. Then you can just point to the prerequisites of the next course
as justification for what you have decided is necessary to pass. But in
"non-terminal" courses you need to find out the amount of work you can
expect, the tolerance for failing of students that will be granted you
from your department or school. If your expectations are higher than the
institution's, you may be vulnerable to backlash from students or parents
(even though you know you are right!) Of course, you can always just say
"Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead" and go ahead and do what you think
is the "right" thing to do.


Laura Petersen

Division of Natural Sciences PHONE 208-799-2484
Lewis-Clark State College FAX 208-799-2064
500 8th Avenue
Lewiston ID 83501-2698 USA

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