EDUC 6553 - Assessment and Evaluation in Education

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015

Assessment and evaluation are key directors of education, and are pivotal to learning and teaching. Assessment is the process of making a judgement or measurement of worth of an entity, example person or process. Evaluation in education involves gathering and evaluating data evolving from planned learning activities, delivery of instructions and/or programs. This course examines the purposes, paradigms and types of assessment and evaluation used in education, and in particular the innovations associated with them. Their roles in directing learning, provision of feedback to students, feedback strategies to enhance the delivery of instructions and curriculum evaluation, and ensuring standards are achieved are explored. Emerging alternative assessment and reporting processes and the underlying philosophies of selected curricula models/frameworks are highlighted. Specifically, the roles of learners/students, teachers/educators, curriculum designers and administrators/policy makers in assessment and evaluation are discussed.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code EDUC 6553
    Course Assessment and Evaluation in Education
    Coordinating Unit School of Education
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 2 hr Lecture, 1 hr Tutorial
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assessment Group work activity (20%), contextualisation of group work (20%), assessment design and response to feedback (50%), contribution to discussion boards (10%)
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Sivakumar Alagumalai

    Associate Professor Sivakumar Alagumalai
    Work Phone:  83135630
    Office Location: Room 8.09 Nexus 10
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Introduction to Course
    A&E in Education (and the Human Sciences)
    - Part 1: Assessment
    - Part 2: Evaluation
    Conceptualising Assessment & Evaluation

    Learning and Assessment
    Types of Learning

    Assessment types, learning theories - 1
    Gagné's hierarchy of learning
    SOLO and Anderson & Krathwohl taxonomies
    Maike Looß (2001). Types of learning? A pedagogic hypothesis put to the test.
    OECD(2010). Patrick Werquin - Recognition of Non-Formal and Informal Learning: Country Practices

    Assessment types, learning theories - 2
    Michael Eraut (2004). Informal learning in the workplace.
    Ainsworth, H.L. & Eaton (2010). Formal, non-formal and informal learning in the sciences.
    Marc Prensky (2001). Types of Learning.From Digital Game-Based Learning (McGraw-Hill)
    Critical Review Presentation: #1a

    Assessment and utility issues (validity, reliability, bias, bandwidth and fidelity)

    Assessment Designs: International Reports & Trends

    Assessment, Reporting, Curriculum surveys and renewal, leadership and policy directions
    Poster Presentation: #1b_1
    Poster Evaluation: #1c_1

    Introduction to Evaluation in Education (and the Human Science)
    Poster Presentation: #1b_2
    Poster Evaluation: #1c_2

    Term Break: 21 Sept – 4 Oct

    Problems & Flaws in Evaluation (Teacher)
    Evaluation Plans, Templates and Research Design(s)

    Insights from James Popham (Evaluation of Teachers)
    Assessment, Evaluation & Accountability - Misuse of data: Dr Margaret Wu

    Assessment, Evaluation & Accountability Review
    Group Presentations: #2a

    Evaluation and Innovations in Education
    Research and Evaluation Research [TALIS, PISA, TIMSS, PIRLS, WVS]

    Assignment #2b due: 5 Nov 2015 (4.00pm)
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The course introduces broad concepts, theories and practices in assessment and evaluation in education (and human sciences). The course provides theoretical, collaborative-dialogue and hands-on sessions, and to achieve the following objectives and outcomes:

    1. Be able to understand and appreciate the roles of (and terminologies in) assessment and evaluation in education (and human sciences);

    2. Evaluate and critique the types of assessment and its importance in learning;

    3. Design assessment appropriate to a variety of learning contexts, and the pertinence of utility issues (validity, reliability, bias, bandwidth and fidelity);

    4. Utilise the various forms of assessment in learning contexts, and evaluate the appropriateness of rubrics, standards, benchmarks and cut-off scores;

    5. Understand and apply the forms of feedback, diagnostics, remediation, extension and reporting;

    6. Understand and evaluate current international literature and reports on assessment and evaluation, and its applications for unit/school/institution/organisation;

    7. Develop and propose evaluation (and associated research) for enhancing learning, teaching, curriculum, performance and support;

    8. Report on emerging assessment and evaluation processes for/in/of learning and through the use of information and communication technologies; and

    9. Understand the developments in adaptive learning and assessment systems, and fundamentals of test-theories and psychometrics.

    Learning Outcomes:
    Students are able to
    (1) understand and explain the fundamental concepts of assessment and evaluation principles;
    (2) differentiate between assessment and evaluation in education;
    (3) design and construct assessments;
    (4) present the various forms or assessment types and how cognitive development can be measured and tracked through assessments;
    (5) utilise the key concepts in assessment to analyse and critique assessment and evaluation reports;
    (6) apply understanding of assessment and evaluation principles in evaluating individual, group and institution performance.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2, 3, 4, 7, 8
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2, 3, 6, 8, 9
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 2, 4, 7, 8
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3, 8, 9
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1, 3, 5, 6, 9
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 2, 4, 5, 6, 9
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 4, 6, 8
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    1. Masters, G.N. (2013). Reforming Educational Assessment: Imperatives, principles and challenges. Australian Education Review. Camberwell, Victoria: ACER.
    2. Postlethwaite, T.N., & Kellaghan, T. (2008). National assessments of educational achievement. The International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) Report. Paris, France: UNESCO.
    3. UNESCO (2013). World Education Forum: Assessing learning achievement. Asia-Pacific Education System Review Series No. 5. Bangkok: UNESCO.
    4. OECD (2013). Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education: Synergies for Better Learning – An International Perspective on Evaluation and Assessment. Paris, France: OECD.
    5. OECD (2011). Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education: AUSTRALIA. Paris, France: OECD.
    6. Porter, A.C., & Smithson, J.L. (2001). Defining, Developing, and Using Curriculum Indicators. CPRE Research Report Series RR-048. Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania.
    7. DEP. (2009). Designing Education Projects: A Comprehensive Approach to Needs Assessment, Project Planning and Implementation, and Evaluation. (2nd Ed.). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.
    8. Popham, J.W. (2006). Assessment for Leaders. Boston: Pearson.
    9. Braun, H., Kanjee, A., Bettinger, E., & Kremer, M. (2006). Improving Education through Assessment, Innovation, and Evaluation. Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
    10. The Gordon Commission Final Report : To Assess, To Teach, To Learn: A Vision for the Future of Assessment. (2013).Princeton, NJ: The Gordon Commission.
    Recommended Resources
    1. Please see reading/assignment list (distributed in class).
    2. Koretz, D. (2008). Measuring up: What educational testing really tells us. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
    3. Farley, T. (2009). Making the Grades: My misadventures in the standardised testing industry. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
    4. Meyer, J.H.F., & Land, R. (2006). Overcoming barriers to student understanding: Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge. (Eds.). NY: Routledge / Tayloy & Francis Group.
    5. Tuijnman, A.C., & Postlethwaite, T.N. (1994). Monitoring the standards of education. NY: Pergamon.
    6. Darling-Hammond, L. (2010). The flat world and education: How America’s commitment to equity will determine our future. NY: Teachers College, Columbia University.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Class based and online activities

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The workload for this course is for a complete 3 point course. 156 hours for the semester. There will be 2 hr classes each week. 
    Learning Activities Summary
    Classroom activities
    Poster Presentation & Peer Assessment
    Assessment Tasks

    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    A number of assessment tasks initiate Small Group Discovery Experiences. Students work in small groups to identify problem statement(s), research, present and evaluate peers.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assignment 1a : Group - Critical review and presentation (Assessment & Utility)
    Type : Summative (Pairs)
    Due Date : Thursday, 20 Aug 2015
    Weighting : 15%
    Learning objectives : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8

    Assignment 1b : Poster preparation and presentation
    Type : Formative and Summative (Individual)
    Due Date(s) : Thursday, 10 & 17 Sept 2015
    Weighting : 30%
    Learning objectives : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8

    Assignment 1c : Peer evaluation of Poster presentation
    Type : Formative and Summative (Individual)
    Due Date(s) : Thursday, 10 & 17 Sept 2015
    Weighting : 10%
    Learning objectives : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8

    Assignment 2a : Group Presentation - Evaluation: Data use and misuse
    Type : Summative (Pairs)
    Due Date : Thursday, 22 Oct 2015
    Weighting : 15%
    Learning objectives : 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9

    Assignment 2b : Evaluation Proposal
    Type : Summative (Individual)
    Due Date : Thursday, 5 Nov 2015 (4.00pm)
    Weighting : 30%
    Learning objectives : 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment 1a: Group - Critical review and presentation (Assessment & Utility) [15%]
    In pairs, select an assessment type you believe optimally captures the ‘bandwidth’ and ‘fidelity’ of learning (you will need to indicate the year level and subject/content area). Develop an eight-slide presentation to highlight how the concepts of validity, reliability, bias, bandwidth and fidelity are addressed. You are allowed 10 minutes presentation time, and 5 minutes to address the questions your colleagues and facilitator raise.

    Assignment 1b: Poster preparation and presentation [30%]
    A number of key articles/reports on Assessment have been identified and listed in ‘Articles/Reports for Poster Assignment & Presentation’. An article/report will be randomly selected and presented to you for developing a poster. Using the information and details provided to in the course, develop a poster (A3) for presentation to your colleagues and course facilitator. You will be allocated five minutes to present your article/report. [Hardcopy for presentation, and e-copy to facilitator / MyUni]

    You may want to use the following headings for our poster:
    • Title
    • Introduction and Research Focus/Question
    • Methods (and materials)
    • Findings/Results
    • Conclusion
    • Discussion (your inputs, critique, research) • Future Prospects (for use in your lesson/class/context, and research possibilities)
    • References
    • [Layout and Presentation]

    Assignment 1c: Peer evaluation of Poster presentation [10%]
    You will undertake peer evaluation of Assignment 1b. We will work as a class to develop the full rubrics for evaluating the poster and presentation. Part of your judging criteria is adopted from the 3-minute thesis competition (

    Judging Criteria [Part]
    • Comprehension - Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
    • Engagement - Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
    • Communication - Was the poster/topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?

    Assignment 2a: Group Presentation - Evaluation: Data use and misuse [15%]
    In pairs, review James Popham’s and Margaret Wu’s work and findings. Develop a five-slide presentation to highlight how the “type and nature of data” evaluators have to consider in presenting a sound, reliable and valid evaluation report. How are the limitations and delimitations of evaluations advanced? You are allowed 10 minutes presentation time, and 5 minutes to address the questions your colleagues and facilitator raise.

    Assignment 2b: Evaluation Proposal [30%]
    Select from your unit/school/institution/ organisation an area/process that lends itself to evaluation. Develop an Evaluation Proposal [use the recommended template] to examine your area/process (could be student’s performance, teacher evaluation, curriculum renewal, performance enhancement, promotion of organisation, effective leadership, etc.).
    Word limit: 1500 words [excluding references]

    [Assessment rubrics to be distributed and discussed/finalised in class]
    All submissions are to be online
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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