Reflection Paper #2

The readings in the Design Performance and Instructional Systems course have been instrumental in increasing my understanding of instructional design, specifically assessment and evaluation. In the text, Real World Instructional Design, the chapter 3 section on Developing Assessments was of particular interest. This section discussed a multitude of tests that are used to evaluate and measure a learner’s skills. If lends sage advice on how to select the appropriate assessment based on the context of skill usage and the desired learning outcomes. Additionally, the scoring criteria and the reliability and validity for the assessments were discussed. Overall, this chapter provides invaluable information on the outcome and assessment fundamentals of instructional design.

The Developing Assessments video was useful in understanding how to link assessment components with performance objectives. The central theme of the video was how to measure progress using learner-centered goals that are linked to instructional goals in an effort to measure progress and quality. Several types of objective tests were discussed as was the method to develop appropriate assessment instruments. The short video concluded with a few examples of objective assessment instruments including project-based tests, portfolios, and performance-based tests.

The next beneficial resource was the Evaluating Learner Success and the Instructional Design PowerPoint presentation. This visual was instrumental in defining assessment and evaluation as well as its purpose in instructional design. Other notable information includes the addition of which performance measurements instructional designers should be able to create. The presentation moves on to delve into matching assessment to objectives, performance tests, and authentic assessment. The simplicity of this presentation makes it a good resource for novice instructional designers.

The article of formative assessment titled: Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding provided alternatives that educators can use to gauge student understanding. The overarching purpose of the article is to demonstrate how formative assessment can be used to track learner comprehension and make them aware of their strengths and gaps in performance. One analogy that I appreciate from the article is the quote, “when the cook tastes the soup, that’s formative; when the guests taste the soup, that’s summative.” This lends a new understanding to the concept of formative and summative assessment. The article goes on to give a plethora of resources to use to check learner understanding and to provide tactical feedback. This well-written resource is definitely a keeper.  

COURSE-Based Review and Assessment: Methods for Understanding Student Learning is a comprehensive handbook that addresses assessment as a teaching tool. The first few chapters discuss what course-based assessment is, details how to include assessment in a course, and notes the selection and frequency of assessment. The handbook then goes into the discussion of assessing at different points throughout a course and provides worksheets and examples that can be used to inform an educator of how the course pace should be adjusted. The next chapter provides information on how to conduct ongoing activities designed to assess learner progress over the course of a semester. To achieve this some very valuable suggestions were given as well as sample worksheets that may be adopted for many different courses. The last chapter is concerned with data collection and deciphering what the data is revealing. The handbook concludes with sources and resources to further explore the topic.

The Gagne’s Events of Instruction infographic was very useful in explaining the various steps of providing instruction in a purposeful and meaningful way. I found it to be very useful and will definitely refer to for my next presentation. However, the Gagne’s Nine Events in Action video wasn’t totally clear on the idea that was meant to be portrayed from my viewpoint.

The book titled: Go Authentic: Activities that Support Learning is a comprehensive resource that provides the basis for and methods of authentic learning. This resource is quite lengthy and could be a stand-alone course itself with the amount of information contained within. The first section deals with learning in the 21st century and moves into why one would want to go authentic. Further discussed is how to conduct a session and points to ponder during the introduction phase. The remainder of the book contains activities geared towards going authentic.  

The remaining reading and visuals for this course were equally as interesting as the ones noted above. The Evaluation PowerPoint presentation is a useful visual representation of evaluation and how to differentiate between formative and summative evaluation. The next resource, Kirkpatrick’s Model of Evaluation video helped me to understand the model and how it applies to the field of instructional design. The Learning Transfer Evaluation Model infographic provides detailed information on understanding the various tiers a learner progresses through as they complete a course. Spector’s paper titled Program and Project Evaluation and Hamilton and Feldman’s paper, Planning a Program Evaluation were both useful in understanding the area of research related to program evaluation. I appreciate the graphic representations that sought to explain an otherwise unfamiliar topic. In conclusion, I have gained several new resources that I am confident will continue to be of use as I progress in the Instructional Design and Technology degree program.

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