Assessment of courses gives us insight into how the course can be strengthened to improve student learning (Peirce, 2005).
Question: Why assess our classes? Isn’t that what grades are for?
Course grades do not provide the same insight that a course assessment does-- grades give a global evaluation, but not enough detail about which course outcomes students are mastering and which are giving them trouble (Peirce, 2005). Grading standards may vary from instructor to instructor and may not indicate the same degree of mastery of course outcomes. Course grades alone don’t stimulate faculty discussions about how to improve student learning of particular course outcomes.
If we do not assess, how do we know that our students have learned what we expect them to learn?
Peirce, W. (2005). Course assessment handbook (revised by Mike Gavin). Prince George’s Community College (MD). Retrieved from http://academic.pgcc.edu/assessment/Handbook.doc .