Assessing student learning through rubrics

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As InsideHigherEd.com explains, although Margaret Spellings is out – the push to measure and document student learning is only strengthening with efforts such as the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/01/23/assess. We often get asked here at StudentVoice, can a survey measure student learning? My answer to this: Yes, you can measure students’ perceptions of their learning through a survey. But, striving to triangulate your survey data with other more direct measures of learning is always ideal. Many of the projects that we facilitate at StudentVoice are indirect measures of student learning in that you are not actually seeing the student demonstrate a certain skill level or change in behavior. Asking students if they increased their level of understanding or learned something new after a program, event or experience on campus, for example, provides students’ perception of growth, development, and/or learning. Students’ perceptions of learning are certainly a valid thing to assess, but ideally you would find ways to measure different types of evidence of student learning.

Rubrics help you to document direct measures of learning that can complement your more indirect measures of learning that you might collect through a survey. Once a rubric is developed, we can host your rubric on StudentVoice as a web or PDA form. So, instead of using pieces of paper for indicating scoring on a rubric, the data you would enter on pieces of paper and tally by hand can be input into StudentVoice directly. This approach not only provides a centralized location to store all your assessment data (whether you collect it with StudentVoice or not), but it also allows you to link with your divisional, departmental, and program goals through our online Management tool.

This month, Carrie Zelna of NC State has graciously agreed to present on rubrics during our professional development webinar series (https://www.studentvoice.com/app/Training/WebinarsSpring09.aspx. Join us on February 18th at 2PM (Eastern) for this session that will help you to enhance your assessment repertoire and add measures that complement your survey data.  Sign up at: http://community.studentvoice.com/training/.

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