The Role of Assessment in the Development of the College
Introductory Astronomy Course
What is assessment? Why do it? Why do it in a particular way? This document addresses these important questions and provides a practical "how-to" guide for doing assessment. Assessment drives student learning; it is thus imperative that instructors conduct assessment in a manner that is well aligned with the instructor’s goals for the course. This requires (a) that course goals be formalized, and (b) that the instructor have knowledge of various classroom assessment techniques and the kinds of course goals to which each of these assessment techniques is best suited. We briefly present several Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) that can be used to help instructors evaluate the extent to which course goals are being achieved, to help guide students toward desired learning outcomes, and to improve student self-evaluation of understanding. In addition, we outline a practical, generalized model for course development with which we demonstrate how to do assessment. For an on-line, user-friendly guide and resource to classroom assessment in college science courses, the reader is invited to visit the Field- Tested Learning Assessment Guide (FLAG) developed by the National Institute for Science Education (http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/nise/cl1/flag).
Brissenden, G., Slater, T. F., Mathieu, R. D., & National Institute for Science Education (NISE) College Level-One Team 2001, Astronomy Education Review, 1(1), p.1–24