Title: How do you know they are learning? The importance of alignment in higher education

Authors: Thomas C. Reeves

Addresses: College of Education, The University of Georgia, 604 Aderhold Hall, Athens GA 30602–7144, USA

Abstract: The success of any learning environment is determined by the degree to which there is adequate alignment among eight critical factors: 1) goals, 2) content, 3) instructional design, 4) learner tasks, 5) instructor roles, 6) student roles, 7) technological affordances, and 8) assessment. Evaluations of traditional, online, and blended approaches to higher education teaching indicate that the most commonly misaligned factor is assessment. Simply put, instructors may have lofty goals, high-quality content, and even advanced instructional designs, but most instructors tend to focus their assessment strategies on what is easy to measure rather than on what is important. Adequate assessment should encompass all four learning domains: cognitive, affective, conative, and psychomotor. This paper describes procedures for the development and use of reliable and valid assessments in higher education.

Keywords: assessment; higher education; conative domain; learning technology; e-agenda; student learning; academic achievement; outputs; cognitive; affective; psychomotor.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLT.2006.011336

International Journal of Learning Technology, 2006 Vol.2 No.4, pp.294 - 309

Published online: 20 Nov 2006 *

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