Step 2: Application of Learning
How will you know if your students are learning what you want them to learn?
Answering this question will guide the development of a variety of ways to
- monitor student learning and the effectiveness of instruction during the learning process, which is also called formative assessment; and
- evaluate student learning against a specific standard at the end of the learning process, which is commonly referred to as summative assessment.
As you plan how you will measure whether students are meeting your expectations for learning in your course, consider both the level of thinking required and the complexity of the task.
Level of Thinking
Level of thinking refers to how students will gain and use the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they develop in your course. These can be used in two ways:
1) break apart (analyze) and critque (evaluate) existing knowledge, and/or
2) combine various concepts (synthesize) and make something new (create).
The figure below shows these two paths and how instruction can be thought of as scaffolding that builds and supports student learning .
To prepare students for more complex learning opportunities, build in frequent, low-stakes assessments throughout the semester to provide practice and feedback for students to prepare them for high-stakes assessments. Low-stakes assessments represent a smaller portion of a students’ final grade and allow students to reflect on and modify their learning. These assessments also provide feedback for the instructors to reflect on and modify their teaching.
Contact us to request a consultation about course design.