APAA - Assessment

Feedback in the Classroom: Making Assessment Matter

TitleFeedback in the Classroom: Making Assessment Matter
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication1988
AuthorsCross, P. K.
JournalAmerican Association for Higher Education (AAHE) Assssment Forum

Aspects of the perception that assessment is a large-scale testing program conducted at institutional or state levels to determine what students have learned from college is questioned. Small-scale assessments conducted continuously in college classrooms by discipline-based teachers to determine what students are learning in what class are also important. The direct involvement of classroom teachers in the assessment movement is important because: teachers need continuous feedback on learning in the classroom so they may improve teaching effectiveness; continuous feedback is necessary for improvement in teaching and learning; and it is important to know more about how students learn. The two broad categories of feedback provided by students to teachers are: (1) student evaluations of teaching in which they report their observations and reactions to the course and instruction and (2) measures of student learning such as tests and daily assignments. Sources of bias in student ratings of instruction include student, faculty, and course characteristics. Other topics of discussion are consistency and agreement on teaching effectiveness, validity, and the effect of student ratings on instruction. The effect of feedback to teachers on student achievement in the classroom is noted. Conclusions and recommendations include: students provide relatively unbiased, reliable, and valid information; feedback is much more effective in producing change when augmented with consultation; and research is needed on the efficacy of providing teachers with better methods of classroom learning. The topic of colleagues as sources of feedback is considered as follows: feedback from colleagues as peers; feedback from consultants and experts; and self-assessment. Contains 69 references