Evaluating the Effectiveness of Instruction Using Principles of Adult Learning

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Instruction Using Principles of Adult Learning

Jim Berger (Western Kentucky University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-745-9.ch011
OnDemand PDF Download:
$30.00
List Price: $37.50

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of assessment of instruction using adult learning principles. The goal of this chapter is to examine the assessment process, describe effective assessment techniques and provide guidelines for instructor developed assessments. Bloom’s (1956) Taxonomy and the subsequent modification of levels of cognitive objectives provided by Anderson et al. (2001) are included. Various assessment exercises are described according to the modified levels of cognitive objectives. Instructors are guided in the process of developing their own assessments from objective tests to subjective essays. Readers are introduced to authentic assessment and provided ways of developing their own authentic assessments, including rubrics. Future trends of assessment practices are also discussed.
Chapter Preview
Top

11.2 What Is Assessment?

Assessment is “collecting information about something to be used for some purpose” (Brookhart, 2004, p. 5). Instructors collect information throughout the process of teaching by observing the reactions of their students and examining the results of their assignments or tests. Moran (2001) describes assessment as “using measurement to describe a learner’s achievement and to make recommendations for additional learning activities” (p. 11) where measurement is “applying a set of rules to an attribute of something or someone to obtain quantitative information about it” (Brookhart, 2004, p. 5) An effective assessment process is direct and seeks to inform the instructor and learner about the learning process and provides them with information to improve it.

Evaluation is the process of “using measurement to describe a learner’s achievement and to make recommendations for additional learning activities” (Moran, 2001, p. 11). Here, instructors seek to use information provided in the assessment process to determine how well learning is taking place and make modifications in future learning activities. That process may be formalized by making plans and developing an outline, or it may happen informally as instructors think about and reflect on the learning outcomes and means of improving them. Effective evaluation is best done when the instructor and learner establish strong and meaningful objectives, activities that will meet those objectives, and measurements to assure that the learner has met those objectives.

Assessments can be described as one of two types: formative and summative. Formative assessments are assessments that occur throughout the learning process and help ensure that learning is taking place. These can take the form of quizzes, classroom activities, roundtable discussions, performances, etc. Summative assessments are measurements that take place at the end of the learning process or program (Brookhart, 2004). Usually, summative assessments are used to determine if the learner has mastered the objectives of the course rather than individual tasks within the course. Examples of summative assessments include final exams, bar exams, theses performances, board exams, certification exams, etc. In the normal process of learning, learners are usually faced with a variety of formative assessments with only one or two summative assessments.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset