Designing Assessment, Assessing Instructional Design: From Pedagogical Concepts to Practical Applications

Designing Assessment, Assessing Instructional Design: From Pedagogical Concepts to Practical Applications

Stefanie Panke
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0420-8.ch007
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Assessment plays a vital role in delivering, evaluating, monitoring, improving and shaping learning experiences on the Web, at the desk and in the classroom. In the process of orchestrating educational technologies instructional designers are often confronted with the challenge of designing or deploying creative and authentic assessment techniques. For an instructional designer, the focus of assessment can be on individual learning, organizational improvement or the evaluation of educational technologies. A common question across these domains is how to translate pedagogical concepts such as authenticity and creativity into concrete practical applications and metrics. Educational technologies can support creative processes and offer connections to authentic contexts, just as well as they can curtail creativity and foster standardized testing routines. The chapter discusses theoretical frameworks and provides examples of the conceptual development and implementation of assessment approaches in three different areas: Needs assessment, impact assessment and classroom assessment.
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Instructional Design

Gustavson and Branch (2002) characterize instructional design as a complex process that is creative, active and iterative. A comprehensive definition stems from Reiser (2001): “The field of instructional design and technology encompasses the analysis of learning and performance problems, and the design, development, implementation, evaluation and management of instructional and noninstructional processes and resources intended to improve learning and performance in a variety of settings, particularly educational institutions and the workplace” (Reiser, 2001, 57).

Instructional designers make use of systematic procedures and employ a variety of instructional media in order to orchestrate teaching and learning experiences that achieve specific goals, such as effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, flow or transfer learning. Instructional design (ID) models (see Figure 1) aggregate theoretical concepts in a process workflow to inform instructional-strategy decisions, among the most referenced are:

  • ADDIE (cf.Molenda, 2003): Instructional design is conceptualized as an iterative process that comprises of the five distinct steps analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation.

  • Pepple in the Pond (Merrill, 2002): This clearly sequenced, task-driven training approach was developed by David Merrill. Starting from a concrete problem scenario prior knowledge is activated, the learners then watch a demonstration of the skills needed to solve the problem, they practice the application of these skills and eventually transfer to a new situation. Many web-based training modules follow this model.

  • Constructivist Learning Environments (Jonassen, 1999): David Jonassen’s model follows the constructivist understanding of learning as a process in which the learner develops and tests hypotheses to generate knowledge through active engagement. The strong emphasis of learner centered activities is reflected in this model. Important steps in this approach are modeling, coaching and scaffolding.

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