Assesment and Evaluation
Since 2001, the Developmental Language Arts has actively and methodically encouraged the understanding, practice, and use of assessment tools, methods, and processes within the classroom as well as within the program. To that end, a department assessment coordinator was identified as a resource person who could work with faculty to improve assessment practices and to document the use of assessment results. Since that time, the department collectively has made significant strides in the practice and use of assessment, focusing on the Plan Do Study Act model, and in the documenting of that practice and use. Assessment continues to be a major initiative within the department and across the institution as Sinclair continues to meet requirements for re-accreditation and for state and local funding. Assessment answers the two most fundamental questions of “Learning College” faculty and administrators: How does this improve and expand student learning? How do we know?
One of the most difficult and most misunderstood aspects of assessment is the word “assessment” itself and how it differs from evaluation since tools, methods, and processes may be the same for both. The difference lies in how the results are used and for what they are intended.
The following provides a means of differentiating between evaluation and assessment in order to better understand and operationalize assessment practices at Sinclair.
Evaluation is the analysis and use of data by faculty to make judgments about student performance. Evaluation includes the determination of a grade or a decision regarding pass/fail for an individual assignment or for a course.
Assessment is the analysis and use of data by students, faculty, and/or departments to make decisions about improvements in teaching and learning.
This description is congruent with the College’s definition: “Assessment at Sinclair is the shared process of purposeful, systematic measurement used to document, reflect upon, and improve student learning.”
A faculty member provides feedback to a student regarding performance on an examination. The student uses that feedback to study differently in order to improve learning and performance.
A faculty member corrects an examination and assigns a grade of 82% to a student.
A team of faculty members analyzes examination results of all students in a course and discovers that 65% of the students did not demonstrate understanding of an important concept. Faculty members investigate possible causes and plan changes in teaching/learning strategies to improve student understanding.
Pop quizzes are given in a class to determine if students have read sections of the text that cover important concepts. Simple Pass/Fail grades are assigned and tallied at the end of the quarter. The quizzes count for 5% of the total course grade.
A student delivers an oral presentation in class. The faculty member provides a critique of delivery and content so that improvements may be made in the student’s subsequent presentations.
A student delivers an oral presentation in class. The faculty member provides a critique of delivery and content accompanied by a grade for the assignment.
A faculty member analyzes the results of oral communication checklists completed for all students in the course section who delivered oral presentations in class in order to determine opportunities for improving teaching and learning.
An Allied Health faculty member uses a rating scale to assign numbers (1-4) that indicate the level of achievement of clinical criteria based on observation of a student’s performance of patient care.
The class attendance record indicates that a student has been absent multiple times. The faculty member advises the student in order to facilitate improved attendance, as studies suggest that regular class attendance contributes to student success.
Points are deducted from a student’s grade for each class absence, in accordance with a department policy.
Students are videotaped interacting with the children in the Early Childhood Education Centers. They view their videotapes and develop self-assessment narratives in which they describe and evaluate their performances. They then develop specific plans for improvement.
Students are videotaped interacting with children in the Early Childhood Education Centers. A faculty member evaluates each videotaped performance based upon course criteria and assigns a letter grade.
A student reads another student’s essay and gives feedback on the content and correctness of the essay as a way to improve the writing.
A faculty member reviews a student peer reader’s feedback and assigns a point value to the documentation to indicate satisfactory completion of the assignment.
If department faculty members have any questions, please contact the department Chairperson.