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Evaluation of Learning Outcomes through Assessment Tests

Some of the key features used in the student learning assessment tests in the current set up in many colleges across America include the measurement of the college experience in the first two year of college.

Jan 8, 2024   /   Visits: 433

This is done through what is called the College Assessment of Academic Proficiency test. Other tests that are used in the evaluation include a test for the real-world problem solving. This test is designed to evaluate whether the student can indeed apply whatever is learnt in school to a situation in real life the test for critical thinking is not designed to be hard and challenging but rather seeks to be interesting and engaging. That way, the National Science foundation reckons it can get the best results from the students. The other key feature f the assessment is that the students are also tested for their communication skills. This allows for the level of communication within the institution to be determined. The focus of tests which are looking to evaluate the communication skills of the students is that they are interested in the written communication skills of the students (Gardner, 2014). This is primarily so because the college learning experience includes a lot of writing for assignments, reports and tests. Communication is important because it is the medium through which all the other evaluation techniques are administered. Tests administered also evaluate the ability of students to think critically, read and understand well and perform mathematical manipulations to a reasonable degree. This is done through the Collegiate Learning Assessment tests which started out being used by small colleges and institutions but is now used by colleges across America, from Harvard to small college sin communities in small towns. Most of the tests that are used for the evaluation are characterized by the fact that they are national. All colleges should administer these tests and report back.

Students assessment
There are several assessment tests which would be a good fit for my institution. One of the tests that would be a good fit is the Critical Thinking Assessment Test (CAT). This is because the test allows the student population to be evaluated for their preparedness in dealing with situations on the real world. In our institution, one of the most important aspects of the education al plan is that it is designed to make whatever is learnt useful in real life situations rather than building the abstract knowledge of students. The institution is proud when its students are in a position to navigate social situations and other real life situations with ease as a result of their education. The CAT is also preferred because it can be administered across the school population in relative ease. The fact that the CAT is not designed to be intimidating to students but rather engaging makes it preferable for us too (Huba and Freed, 2000). This is because when evaluating our students, we are looking to use methods which are likeable ad friendly to the students. This is especially so because we recognize that evaluation should not take the direction of competitive tests such as the SAT but rather should yield useful data that can then be used to tweak the teaching system so that it delivers maximum value to the student. As an institution, I would not suggest that we make changes to the CAT since it is pretty useful as it is. Changing the test would call for the designing of a way to interpret the new data and how to make it useful. The time and cost that would take make it unviable for a college of our size. The other test which would be useful is the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA). The CLA is useful because it is concerned with the reasoning abilities of the student. In today's job market, the employers are looking for candidates who can not only apply their mastery in their disciplines but also call on their knowledge to solve issue which might arise at the place of work. More often than not, solving problems requires analytical thinking and the ability to critically look at a situation. The CLA allows for this type of thinking to be evaluated.

Given the opportunity to design an evaluation test, there are several things which I would improve. One of the things would be the time allocated for the tests. I would like to make it possible for evaluation to be a continuous process rather than event. This is because assessment of data should be over a long period of time because that eliminates errors which might result from the application of a assessment process in one sitting. The testing and evaluation could for example start in high school and carry on through all the years of college, with the final assessment being done in the final college year to determine the effectiveness of the educational journey in preparing students for the outside world. I would also change the way that tests are administered such that students are actually actively informed on what the tests are looking to evaluate. That way, the students will be more cooperative when there has to be a written assessment. As it sis, many students do not like to sit through written assessments. This is because they associate written assessments with academic tests. The other improvement that I would make is developing a stratified test. A stratified test as defined here is a test which has levels. This means that after analysis of the students academic abilities, family background, competitiveness and interests and hobbies, assessment should be done at three or four levels, with the first level being for students who are barely interested in the college experience and the higher level being for the competitive students with a deliberate interest in college. That way, the students can be evaluated and attended to accordingly, instead of just collecting data in a big group and making decision based on that data, resulting in assumptions that the levels of interest and motivation for all students is the same.

As a stakeholder in education, the issues of access, standards and quality are issues that need to be carefully considered because they each affect the understanding of a student learning in their own way. One of the ways that the access affects understanding is by allowing the students to realize their educational potential. Access is mainly a function of the academic and financial abilities of a student. The issue of educational standards is one that affects the understanding if the student by affecting the quality of instruction, when a college has high quality instructors and teaching material, the standard of education is likely to be high.

My perspective as a stakeholder is that educational access and standards is too dependent on the financial status of the student. Students who h=come from wealthy families are able to access the best schools with the best instruction even when their academic credentials are not the strongest. This means that only the wealthy will continue to benefit from the highest academic institutions. For this to change there needs to be some way to standardize the quality of education such that even small colleges have relatively high quality instructors and teaching facilities. There should also be a way to subsidize college education in the best institutions so that academically gifted students get opportunity to stud y at top institutions.

The conflict that might come from my suggestions is that there are people who are of the opinion that because some of the top institutions are privately owned, they should not be subject to things such as admitting needy students. Some institutions are also exclusively marketed as being for the very rich, and would be hesitant to admit students from social classes which are of a lower caliber. This might cause internal management conflicts since there are people on the inside who share my perspective of opening opportunities for some needy but gifted students.


Gardner, M. M. (2014). Assessing student learning in the community and two-year college: Successful strategies and tools developed by practitioners in student and academic affairs.

Huba, M. E., & Freed, J. E. (2000). Learner centered assessment on college campuses: Shifting the focus from teaching to learning. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 24(9), 759-766.

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