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Measuring Learning Compendium

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Measuring learning can be accomplished through more than a typical paper-and-pencil forced choice test. Providing students with a variety of ways to express their learning is effective pedagogy. Research has demonstrated that students become better writers if provided instruction and opportunities to practice expressing themselves through various types of writing prompts. The use of two-part prompts and case studies have also been demonstrated in the research literature as effective instructional activities.

Research also cautions that being transparent regarding how such writings, written and verbal responses (such as a speech, slide show presentation, etc.) will be evaluated is critical to the learning process. The use of such measurement instruments as checklists, rating scales, structured observations and rubrics have proven effective in not only documenting growth in learning, but also in providing students with clear guidance regarding expectations, standards and quality.

This Compendium provides UA - PTC faculty with a brief explanation of the basic ways to measure learning along with examples from the research literature. In addition, as UA - PTC faculty develop their own measurement instruments for use in their courses and to assess their program’s Student Learning Outcomes, the exemplary measuring tools will be posted online within this Compendium for use and/or adaptation by other faculty.

The Compendium is organized in two distinct sections:

Section I

Section I provides a brief overview of four basic instruments for measuring learning: checklists, rating scales, structured observations and rubrics. For each instrument, information is provided regarding its Description, its Use, its Structure, basic steps for creating one on your own (How to) and Some Tips. This information is then followed by an example. As the research literature and our own assessment work here at University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College provide evidence of other such tools, these will be added to the Compendium.

Directions: Click on the heading below to open the link to a brief explanation and examples of the topic.

Section II

Section II provides examples of exceptional instruments developed here at University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College. This section will be updated annually to reflect the emerging Culture of Assessment and exemplary assessment work being accomplished at University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College.

Directions: Click on the heading below to open the list of instruments available. Then select the instrument you wish to view by clicking on that instrument title.


Rating Scales

Structured Observations

  • None to date