Research: Designing a Performance Assessment to Measure Student Communication Skills in Multimedia-Supported Project-Based Learning


One study conducted a performance assessment of students who participated in classrooms funded by the Challenge 2000 Multimedia Project, a multimedia-supported project-based learning model, finding that they demonstrated greater mastery of content, more sensitivity to their audience...

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Nuanced assessments: More than the final grade

Howell Jackson

Howell Jackson, James S. Reid Jr. Professor of Law, experiments with end-of-semester exams and writing assignments to create opportunities for meaningful, formative feedback through skills practice, reflection, and peer collaboration.

The benefits: Jackson has experimented with multiple choice questions, most recently in Introduction to Securities Regulation, requiring students to select options such as “Clearly no” and “Probably yes” and then write short essays elaborating on a few of the questions they found particularly challenging or problematic.... Read more about Nuanced assessments: More than the final grade

Quiz statistics (Canvas)

You can view quiz statistics for quizzes that have been published and have at least one submission. You can also download comma separate value (CSV) files to view Student Analysis or Item Analysis for each quiz question.

What are Course Analytics? (Canvas)

Analytics evaluate individual components of a course and evaluate student performance. Course Analytics takes a three pronged approach to creating substantive data for Canvas users.

Mid-course feedback questionnaire

The Strengthening Learning and Teaching Excellence (SLATE) Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School provides one example of a mid-course feedback questionnaire developed by various faculty. 

Examples of assessments, techniques, and pedagogies

The Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching (HILT) compiled some examples of assessments, techniques, and pedagogies for attendees of the 2015 Faculty Conference: Designing an assessment for learning

Setting up effective feedback loops: The role of assessment in course transformation

McCarty and Deslauriers

Logan McCarty, Director of Physical Sciences Education, and Louis Deslauriers, Director of Science Teaching and Learning, adopted an active pedagogy for a large introductory physics course and saw significant gains in student learning and attitudes. Assessment played a role every step of the way

The benefits: By explicitly stating the course learning objectives and designing complementary in-class activities, they created effective feedback loops – the activities helped students assess their own understanding, and according to McCarty, “more importantly, the instructors got feedback on how students are learning.”

The challenges: Defining course learning objectives can “feel awkward. It feels artificial. And the value is not immediately apparent,” McCarty admitted. “But it is essential for creating effective assessments.”

Takeaways and best practices