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How do Classroom Assessment Techniques improve teaching and learning?

In addition to understanding how well your students are understanding course content, classroom assessment technique results give you the opportunity to change your teaching in order to better meet your learning goals.  For example, if the classroom assessment technique you facilitated indicates most of the class did not understand a topic, you have the opportunity to adjust your teaching accordingly.  You may want to repeat the main points of a lecture, post a question for on-line discussion, post a 3-5 minute narrated lecture on the topic, or change a lab activity. You will then want to consider what you can do for your future classes to ensure understanding.

For instructors CATs can:

  • provide just-in-time feedback about the teaching-learning process

  • provide useful information about student learning with less work than traditional assignments (tests, papers, etc.)

  • encourage the view that teaching is an ongoing process of inquiry, experimentation, and reflection

  • identify student misconceptions early in the learning process

  • keep students engaged in the learning process

For students CATs can:

  • help develop better monitoring of their own learning

  • reduce feelings of isolation and impotence, especially in large classes

  • provide concrete evidence that the instructor cares about learning

  • increase critical thinking about the course content

Getting Started with Classroom Assessment Techniques

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