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Course Assessment Tools And Methods Utilizing Assignments, Tests, And Exams

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Assessment Issues

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.331.1 - 8.331.6



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Paper Authors

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Richard Jones

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John Hackworth

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session _(Draft Doc. 2003-892)___

Course Assessment Tools and Methods Utilizing Assignments, Tests and Exams

John R. Hackworth, Richard L. Jones

Old Dominion University

I. Introduction

Until recently, course assessment methods have been relegated to simply having an instructor examine results of assignments, tests and, exams, and making subjective determinations of how well the class is performing. This includes an “educated guess” as to whether or not students are grasping concepts being delivered in lecture classes (and supported in laboratory classes) and formulating an overall opinion of how the class is performing. When this method is used, in most cases, when queried about class performance, the instructor has little more to contribute than, They’re doing ok,” or “I think they’re doing better than last semester’s class,” or “I believe this is the best class I’ve ever had,” or some similar phrase. Seldom does the instructor have a quantitative value that can be assigned to the class performance, and rarely is he or she able to pinpoint which particular subjects within the course curriculum were problematic. The result is that the instructor usually lacks the data necessary to take the corrective action that can result in improvement in class (and individual student) performance.

In this paper, we will examine a method using assignments, test, and exams in a closed loop assessment system that will allow the instructor to better evaluate the performance of the curriculum, and determine specifically what changes need to be made to improve the quality of the course and the quality of the student who has completed the course. A complete methodology will be demonstrated which takes the reader from the early stages of course development through critical milestones. These include the development of course objectives; the mapping of assignments, tests, and exams to each of the course objectives; the extraction, compilation, and evaluation of resulting data; and the use of these data to provide continuous improvement in the course content and student evaluation methods. This method is independent of the course delivery method (live, TV broadcast, internet streamed, CD-ROM, etc.). Samples of an actual course assessment using this method is presented which show how the data is extracted, how it is related to the course objectives, and interpretations of the information contained in the data.

"Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education"

Jones, R., & Hackworth, J. (2003, June), Course Assessment Tools And Methods Utilizing Assignments, Tests, And Exams Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12626

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