Aligning, Assigning and Redesigning: Effective Course Assessment for Student Learning

This page outlines details about Aligning, Assigning and Redesigning: Effective Course Assessment for Student Learning – Course Redesign Program running from May 1 until December 2017. 

Facilitators: Kathleen Bortolin, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Specialist and Stephanie Boychuk, Learning Technologies Support Specialist, Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning.

REGISTER by May 10 (or until Full) – EXTENDED!

Course Redesign Program Overview

This program is an opportunity for faculty members to review, enhance and (re)construct one of their courses. Working alongside their peers, faculty members engage in activities that highlight essential course design principles and then apply those ideas to an upcoming course. This course redesign program is focused on meaningful assessment and evaluation and pays close attention to designing summative assessment tools that align with course learning outcomes. By the end of the workshop, faculty members redesign the basic structure of their course including assignments, assessment tools, and course outline. They will also have the opportunity to share feedback and ideas about teaching and be inspired with new ideas from their peers.

Learning Outcomes – By the end of this program, faculty members will be able to:
• Write clear and measurable learning outcomes for their course
• Develop/Enhance summative assessment activities that are aligned with learning outcomes
• Create/Enhance rubrics/grading tools that clearly outline criteria for student learning
• Design/Enhance formative assessment strategies for obtaining frequent student feedback on learning

Schedule and Time Commitment

  • Before May 14: Online Advance Preparation Time (self-paced, all online, 3-5 hours total)
  • Monday, May 15: Day One of Workshop Institute, 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM (cohort-based, 7 hours + 1-2 hours homework)
  • Tuesday, May 16: Day Two of Workshop Institute, 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM (cohort-based, 7 hours + 1-2 hours homework)
  • Wednesday, May 17: Day Three of Workshop Institute, 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM (cohort-based, 7 hours)
  • Fall 2017: Undertake all Benchmarks as outlined below for Phases 1, 2 and 3 (some group, mostly own teaching activity and some engagement with Centre staff – see time breakdown below)

Three Phases of Course Redesign Program

1. Advance Preparation: It will be essential for faculty to complete some readings and preparation activities in order to fully experience and gain key insights into the work of the Workshop Institute.  This will include: Before May 14 independently completing online readings/videos, sharing responses etc. This will take approximately 3-5 hours you can schedule to do on your own before May 14.

2. Workshop Institute: A three-day intensive, face-to-face learning session. During these days, faculty members will engage in a variety of activities that structure and inform the course design process. We will look at crafting effective learning outcomes, creating meaningful assignments that align with those learning outcomes and making assessment tools (grading tools, rubrics, etc.) for those assignments. It is expected that you will be able to have full attendance at the Workshop Days (Monday, May 15 to Wednesday May 17).  Approx. 21 hours. In addition, you will be expected to work on a substantial assignment which takes the form of redesigning/enhancing some of your summative assessment pieces (assignments, tests, projects, quizzes) and some formative assessment pieces (informal ways of giving feedback to students). Possibly a couple of hours of homework each night (May 15 and May 16). Outline for three-day workshop:

  • Day 1: Writing learning outcomes; aligning outcomes with assignments and activities; designing assignments
  • Day 2: Designing assignments, designing assessment tools (rubrics, grading tools etc.); assessment and group assignments, self-assessment, assessing participation
  • Day 3: Give and receive feedback on your course redesign work. Designing assessment tools, formative assessment, revamping the course outline

3. Implementation: Benchmark activities as listed below for Fall 2017 follow-up.

Implementation Benchmarks

  1. Feedback on Your New Course Redesign
    One of the Program facilitators will meet with you in the days before implementation in the semester, to provide final feedback on the elements of the course being designed. Approx. 1 hour in a meeting you schedule at your convenience before your class starts.
  2. Administer a Mid-Term Survey of Students
    By midterm of the Fall semester, you will administer a survey of your students targeting their response to key elements/practices of the assessment and evaluation components you have enhanced. Approx. 10 minutes of class time, about 30 minutes of meeting time with one of the facilitators to over the results.
  3. Arrange a Classroom Observation by Centre Staff
    Sometime early to mid-semester of Fall 2017, you will invite one of the facilitators to observe one class that is related to redesigned assessment and evaluation pieces. The observation process for you and Centre staff follows the procedures in the “VIU Guide to Peer Observation and Feedback for Reflective Practice.” Approximately 30 minutes pre-observation meeting, 1 hour of class time, 30 mins – 1 hour meeting afterwards to debrief.
  4. Exchange Ideas with Colleagues
    You and the group of faculty members in this Course Redesign Program will convene during Fall 2017 semester to share experiences and lessons learned from the changes you are making to your classes. We hope to meet 3 times (once in August, once mid-semester and once at the end of the semester). Approximately 4 hours total @ 1 – 1.5 hours each of 3 times
  5. Write a Brief Reflection Essay
    At the completion of the Fall 2017 semester, you will capture your learning in a 1-2 page summary of the experience and assesses the impact of the experience on your professional practice. This written reflection will demonstrate the accountability of the changes you made and could be used for promotions, reports and marketing efforts (but no names or identifying components will be included). Approximately 1 hour total on your own you email to one of the facilitators by December holidays.

REGISTER by May 10 (or until Full) – EXTENDED!

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