A Design Framework for Guiding Integration of Instruction and Assessment

A Design Framework for Guiding Integration of Instruction and Assessment

Michael D. Hamlin
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4036-7.ch008
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Educators are increasingly urged to integrate instructional technology into the curriculum to enhance learning. While it may be that providing more options for delivering instruction in different formats provides instructional benefit for educators, achieving the goal of linking activities and assessment requires a systematic and integrative approach. This chapter will develop a framework that educators can use to guide the integration of learning activities, assessment, and instructional technology in a manner that provides instructional affordances for students to develop critical competencies for success in an ever-changing environment that is the new world of work.
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This chapter will develop a framework that educators can use to guide the integration of learning activities, assessments, and instructional technologies that provides instructional affordances for students to develop the unique professional competence needed for success in a technology enhanced learning environment. This chapter will describe a “three-level” framework whose structure can help educators in the creation of online and blended learning environments that provide learning affordances to students and design affordances for educators to create learning activities and courses that integrate instruction and assessment. The three levels of the framework are: (1) school-wide/ departmental reflection and definition of educational philosophy; (2) instantiation of educational philosophy in an integrated learning model; and (3) design of an educational interface providing unique educational experiences. A fourth component of the framework is related to adult student learning characteristics that interact with the educational interface component of the learning and assessment framework. While they are an important component to consider, they are not part of the design components but rather interact with the design components to create the learning outcomes specified in the design. FIGURE 1 provides an overview of the three levels of the integrated learning and assessment framework.

Figure 1.

Design framework schematic


Institutional Reflection and Definition of Educational Philosophy. The highest level of the framework will be produced at the level of the school or department and focus on defining the meaning of the degree(s) offered. This is a process that many institutions may go through for accrediting purposes and the process described is derived from one American accrediting body’s standards for educational effectiveness. This definitional exercise is relevant to the theme of this book, linking learning activities with assessments, and consists of a school/departmental reflective process that produces a cohesive educational philosophy. The process, in part, involves answering a series of questions either at the institutional or departmental level with the goal of defining the meaning of the degree in a way that can guide both assessment and instruction.

Instantiation of Educational Philosophy in an Integrated Learning Model. At the next level, the educational philosophy is translated into a learning model that will integrate learning, assessment, and student support. This chapter will illustrate ways in which institutions’ reflections on the meaning of their degrees can inform new learning models. Faculty, and personnel in the learning management and student support systems, can work in a coordinated way that promotes professional competence among students.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Apprenticeship: Traditional method of training people into a profession that has powerful features for learning: researchers have identified effective learning and teaching techniques from apprenticeship learning and applied them to classroom learning pedagogy.

Authentic Learning Activities: Online or in-class activities that mimic real-world issues or situations: in contextualized learning, these could be simulations, problem-based learning exercises, or cases.

Learning Management System: A computer-based, online program that supports the creation of online spaces that contain many of the basic features of a traditional classroom such as materials, discussion forums, grade books, and even access to textbooks.

Self-Efficacy: How well one can execute courses of action required to deal with prospective situations.

Student Agency: Agency is shaped through considerations of past habits of mind and action, present judgments of alternatives for action and projections of the future and efforts to develop agency are relational and social, and situated in structural, cultural, and socio-economic-political contexts of action.

Situated Learning: What some have called the situative perspective views learning and cognition as distributed over activity systems and communities of practice rather than residing strictly in the head of individuals.

Cognitive Apprenticeship: Extension of apprenticeship training techniques to the teaching of cognitive and metacognitive skills.

Affordances: Features of the environment that suggest action: elements in the learning environment that afford positive student progress.

Andragogy: The method and practice of teaching adults.

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