This week, Magna Publications featured a webinar by Tom Pusateri on classroom assessment techniques. This techniques are featured in a book by Angelo and Cross (initial edition by Cross and Angelo is available on ERIC) . Angelo and Cross (1993) suggested that these techniques could be used to find out how much, how well, and how students are learning. They provide a record of student feedback that can inform teaching and potential changes to teaching. A brief listing of 50 classroom assessment techniques is available from the University of Oregon.
CATs are useful because they have the potential to actively engage students in learning in low stakes learning activities that are often anonymous and ungraded. They give faculty members an opportunity to examine the impact of their teaching using data about student learning, and to change the learning environment.
It’s also important to “close the feedback loop”. Evaluate what you found. Think about changes you might make to teaching. Share information with students, and ask them about what changes they might make in their learning processes. You can also use CATs to demonstrate reflective teaching – e.g., that you are collecting evidence about student learning, and make changes to teaching based on information you have collected.
Some common CATs you might have heard of or even used include the following:
- Minute Paper – ask students to respond to two questions – what was the most important thing you learned today and what questions remain uppermost in your mind as we end this class session?
- Muddiest Point – What was the muddiest point in today’s lesson?
- One-Sentence Summary – who did what to/for whom? When, where, how and why? (e.g., history class)
- Directed Paraphrasing – paraphrase concept or procedure.
- Applications Cards- ask students to list possible applications to real life or to other specific areas.
There are good as starting points because they can be applied in any discipline.
For more details about Classroom Assessment Techniques, check out Angelo and Cross’s second edition of the book (available to faculty from TLC Collection in the Library Learning Commons). In the book, recommendations are made for use in specific disciplines, and information is provided about the relationship to teaching goals and the time required for each CAT.