Description of Good Assessment Practice

Title: Dr
Name: Anson Wong & Jacqueline Wang
Academic Position: Others
Name of Institution: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Country: Hong Kong
Discipline: Others
Course title:
Course code:
Class size: 101 or above
Course Year: Year 3
Assessment Title: In-class Assessment by a Classroom Response System, 'Clickers'
Assessment Type: Both
Time allowed for assessment:
Target: Assessment of large classes
Learning outcomes of the assessment practice: Learning Outcome 1: Stimulate Student Participation in-Class Discussion

Learning Outcome 2: Motivate Student Engagement in Learning and Teaching

Learning Outcome 3: Understand Better and Faster about Student Learning Performance

Learning Outcome 4: Improve Students’ Learning Outcome (e.g., final exam mark)

Learning Outcome 5: Provide Frequent Feedback on Student Learning
Key features and principles of the assessment practice: The key feature of the assessment practice is to make use of a classroom response system that is a wireless instructional technology, namely Clicker to assess student learning performance in class. Such summative and formative assessment is a very powerful tool for educational improvement because this allows instructors to rapidly collect and analyze student responses to questions posed in class.This assessment approach is typically used in the following manner.

Firstly, a set of multiple-choice questions are posed to the students and then ask them to select the correct answer using their Clickers. The instructor’s computer will produce a bar chart showing the distribution of student answers.

Next, the instructor will use the result to determine how to proceed. If most of students answer the question correctly, the instructor could move on to the next question. However, if most of students fail to answer the question correctly, the instructor may spend more time to explain the question e.g. working through some examples and asking a follow-up question to diagnose their misconceptions. Besides asking students to choose the best answer or multiple correct answers, the instructors can ask them to eliminate incorrect answer chooses and explain the reason for their decision. This approach can encourage students to reconsider their answers as well. Apart from that, the wireless clickers make instructors easily collect and record student performance in class and other summative assessments. Therefore, this assessment practice definitely enables the educational improvement.
What are the best things about this assessment method? The formative and summative assessment method helps instructors understand more about their student learning:

- What they understand and what they do not understand. Then, the instructors may tailor-made instruction to meet their students’ learning needs. In line with the findings of Bransford, Brown & Cocking (2000) , assessing student learning in this way can provide useful feedback to the instructors and improve teaching and learning in class.

- By adopting the “clicker” in class, students are supposed to get more involved in cognitive activities in the following three aspects: 1) students may be more attentive to the lecture material beforehand; 2) students may work harder to organize and integrate the learning material, when they are answering the questions; and 3) after receiving immediate feedback, students may develop metacognitive skills for gauging how well they understood the lecture materials.

- This approach also helps instructors efficiently review key teaching materials in review session. Reviewing examination or test materials using Clicker questions allow instructors to determine the topics for which student are least understood and to spend more review time on those topics.

- The Clicker enables students to complete reading assignment before class.Instructors can hold a reading quiz using the Clickers at the start of a class. During the quiz, the instructor can ask students a few straightforward questions about the reading. The Clickers can allow instructors to collect and grade student responses quickly and to review the results of the quiz with the students.

- Students also benefit as they are able to be aware of what they understand, what they do not understand and how they are learning.

- Besides, Clickers help teacher collect information on student learning in class quickly and simultaneously. It can summarize the information and report the summary of student response to instructor and students in a bar chart.
What are the challenges in implementing this assessment method? The Clicker enables instructors to recognize how many students choose each of the correct answers but it cannot tell instructors why students choose these answers. Instructor explanation of the answers to the question may not make students in this thinking sufficiently because students will simply listen to the explanations without thinking about them deeply. Hence, in order to motivate students to engage in class, it is necessary to have students share their reasons for their answers with the class before providing the correct answer and an explanation of the question.
What do your students think about this assessment method? (Any evaluation?) In 2014, a survey about the student feedback to the assessment method was done and we found that the student feedback was positive to the assessment. The results also reflected that the assessment approach improved their learning efficacy. For the detail, please see the attached Appendix I.
Plans for changes/developments in future (if any): We plan to apply more of the assessment in assessing student performance especially in-class participation.
Attachment: Appendix
Creation date: 2015-10-15 16:20:45