Developing An Assessment Of Learning Process: The Importance Of Pre-Testing

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Michelle Sheran
Jeffrey Sarbaum


Assessment, Pre-testing, Learning Objectives, Microeconomics


Colleges and universities are increasingly being held accountable for assessing and reporting student learning. Recently there has been increased focus on using assessment to improve learning over time. In this paper we present a simple, step-by-step assessment process that will deliver meaningful results to achieve these ends. We emphasize the need to conduct controlled and consistent pre- and post-testing so that the impact of pedagogical changes can be effectively measured. We explain how we have utilized this process in our Principles of Microeconomics courses to assess learning objectives and show that absolute performance on the assessment of a learning objective is not always consistent with relative performance improvement. These results reinforce the need to use pre-testing to effectively assess learning and measure the impact of pedagogical changes over time.


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