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Operation: Assessment Overhaul - How to Construct Innovative and Effective Assessment using the tools of the Modern Classroom.

Operation: Assessment Overhaul Course Page - (The course begins here.)


By a show of hands, who out there can remember taking a test in elementary/secondary school? Who remembers spending hours stressing over their studies, pouring over books upon books, only to get to the exam to find it to be far more difficult than you could possibly have prepared yourself for? Now then, who can remember actually being excited to take a test in school?

If you are similar to most students today, you are not feeling all that confident in your test-taking abilities. According to a recent study, between 25 and 40 percent of students experience some form of sudden and extreme anxiety when trying to prepare for an evaluation.[1]

Since students do not seem to be meeting most of the standards we are setting for them, it begs the question: Do we have the most accurate expectations in mind when we are designing assessment? Are we being realistic in our assumptions regarding student characteristics? Are our students truly failing – or are they simply doomed to fail from the start?

The Purpose of This Course

There must be a way we can pull together to reform assessment. And it’s not going to take just a small tweak. In order to recognize the problems, we must first understand the following: What is an assessment? How do we use them today? How have they been used in the past?And lastly, what exactly is it about assessment that needs to change to be better suited for the learner of today? In this course, we are going to work on first tearing down every preconception of what we as educators have come to know about assessment – peeling back every layer, getting to its core, finding out and scrutinizing its true purpose. Once we have torn it down, we are going to begin to restructure modern assessment to fit a new mold: the mold of the 21st Century classroom. We will be using only the most effective and practical components we find to meet the new challenges our students will be encountering in the real world. And, thanks to a variety of innovative methods (as well as the frequent introduction of new classroom technologies) that we see perpetually developing in the world of education, decreasing student anxiety over assessment is now more possible than ever before.

Questions To Be Answered

  • What is assessment?
  • Why is assessment necessary?
  • What should assessment be designed to accomplish?
  • Which forms of assessment lead to results that meet with contemporary standards of instruction, and which forms are inadequate?
  • How can instructors use technology to impact learner efficiency (involving assessment)?


The course is broken down into subcomponents, which are organized in the following manner:

1) Defining Assessment, And Its Place In Education

2) Weighing Assessment: Assessment’s Impact On The Learner.

3) Degrees Of Assessment: How To Design The Comprehensive Evaluation Methods

4) Reading The Data: What To Observe When Evaluating Assessment

5) Incorporating new Technology into Assessment

6) Building Smarter Assessment: Putting All Considerations Together To Build A More Practical, Effective, And Eloquent Testing Design.

Performance Objectives

Learners will be able to:

· Correctly identify the strengths and weaknesses of modern assessment methods by brainstorming the characteristics of a typical test, as well as common desired learning outcomes. Learners will be asked to revisit this component at the end of the course to see how much their perception has changed.

· Effectively weigh the costs and benefits of different assessment evaluation/grading methods – Learners in this course will demonstrate advantages and expose flaws in modern testing by completing a series of tests within an allotted time limit, and will collaboratively discuss their thoughts on these forms of assessment via message board.

· Demonstrate the practicality of educational technology as a part or as a whole of their assessment, and will demonstrate how technology can be used as a helpful aid for assessment evaluation.

· State improved techniques to better prepare students for assessment, as well as execute these techniques in a classroom environment.

· Discern the nature of assessment in both theory and in practice, and appreciate the usefulness of assessment in the modern classroom (when implemented appropriately).

· Demonstrate their understanding of assessment from the perspective of the contemporary student, and how to generate a strategy to prepare students for assessment.

· Take their knowledge of assessment back into their classroom/work environment, and put it to use by adopting new test strategies as well as generating theories on assessment within a more informed framework.


Cassady, Jerrell C. Anxiety in schools : the causes, consequences, and solutions for academic anxieties. New York: Peter Lang, 2010. Print.

About Me

Matthew Mariani

  1. Cassady, Jerrell C. Anxiety in schools : the causes, consequences, and solutions for academic anxieties. New York: Peter Lang, 2010. Print.