Course Design in Small Bites – Tapas on Assessment and Activities

1 Jul

Tapas #3 & #4 of the Teaching by Design series examine assessments (from formal, graded assessments – exams, papers, projects to informal, ungraded assessments – also known as Classroom Assessment Techniques) and activities that will reinforce learning outcomes you have determined for your course.

Tapa #3 – Assessment

The Tapa #3 narrated presentation addresses key questions related to authentic assessment, assessments that ask students to demonstrate and perform their knowledge in a relevant, real-life context, which can help to increase student motivation.  Incorporating two examples demonstrating revision of “traditional” assessments into “authentic” ones, the Tapa addresses both formal and informal dimensions of assessment.

The informal assessments provided by CATs – or Classroom Assessment Techniques or CATs – are designed to provide feedback on how and what students are learning, and on how well they know and can apply course concepts. CATs offer faculty a lens into the how and what of learning; in this, CATs help ensure that students are on the right track early in the learning – before they begin to write  papers, take  exams or complete  projects.  Based on analysis of CATs, you and your students can make apt adjustments in the teaching and learning process just in time for continued learning.

By following this link, you will find Tapa #3’s narrated presentation as PDF titled “Authentic Assessments: Sparks for Effective Learning” in the Teaching by Design section.

For additional resources on formal and informal asessment as integral to course design, see these links to resources focused on Authentic Assignments and Classroom Assessment Techniques.

Tapa #4 – Activities

Building on the concepts of integrated course design presented in previous “tapas,” this presentation focuses on the final component of aligned course design: learning and teaching activities.

The presentation focuses on options that will reinforce the learning outcomes you have determined for your course. This Tapa illustrates active learning examples for each of type of outcome Dee Fink identifies in a taxonomy of significant learning.  The examples come from the literature on active learning and also from ideas gathered from working with University faculty.  You may be able to use some of these ideas  in your own course planning pretty much as presented.  Most will need adapting based on situational factors, outcomes and assessments particular to the course you are designing.

It is our hope that interacting with this presentation will spark totally new ideas by inviting you to reflect the general ideas and to actively invent specific adaptations  to your own course.

By following this link, you will find Tapa #4’s narrated presentation as PDF titled “Learning Activities” in the Teaching by Design section.

Linking to the Tapas – and related resources

The first two tapas in this Course Design in small bites series can be found at these locations:  Tapa #1 – on situational contexts, and  Tapa #2 – on learning outcomes   Additional Resources are available for Tapa #1: Teaching by Design – Session 1 SlidesHandout 1 and Handout 2.


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