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Assessing and Evaluating Student Learning

Two major approaches for understanding what, how, and how well our students learn are (formative) assessment and (summative) evaluation. This workshop is designed to help you find a balance between these two approaches which would be appropriate for your discipline and teaching contexts. We will explore how to link assessment/evaluation mechanisms to course learning outcomes; how to integrate Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) into your courses; how to develop or adapt rubrics for assessment/evaluation of alternative activities other than "objective" tests; and strategies for providing more meaningful feedback on students' work.


Participants will leave this this workshop being able to:

  • Identify the defining qualities of formative and summative approaches to characterizing student learning;
  • Integrate assessment and evaluation more seamlessly into their teaching; and
  • Develop more meaningful opportunities for students to both give and receive feedback during their courses.


  • Angelo, T. A., & Cross, K. P. (1993). Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Bain, K. (2004). How do they evaluate their students? In What the Best College Teachers Do, pp. 150-172. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Jacobson, W. H., & Lawrence, M. (2005). Aligning evaluation practices. In D. H. Wulff (Ed.), Aligning for Learning: Strategies for Teaching Effectiveness, pp. 65-78. Bolton, MA: Anker.
  • McKeachie, W. J. (2002). Assessing, testing, and evaluating: Grading is not the most important function. In McKeachie's Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers (11th ed.), pp. 70-96. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  • Stevens, D. D., & Levi, A. J. (2005). Introduction to Rubrics: An Assessment Tool to Save Grading Time, Convey Effective Feedback, and Promote Student Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus.
  • Wiggins, G. (1998). Educative Assessment: Designing Assessments to Inform and Improve Student Performance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • "Assessing and Evaluating Student Learning" list on WorldCat, with links to VCU Libraries' holdings

For more information, contact Phil Edwards (804-827-0533 or pmedwards@vcu.edu).

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Last modified: June 20, 2013
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