A central outcome of learning how to teach is the development of assessment skills that are transferable to other settings. The assessment techniques you develop through teaching and giving students feedback on their work will help you determine if students have met the learning outcomes set for them.  And, whether you work in academia, industry, government, or non-profits, knowing how to measure the outcome of your work and that of the people and teams you oversee will be an essential skill.

Steps You Can Take

Take Workshops on Assessment of Teaching and Learning

Each semester the GSI Teaching & Resource Center conducts a variety of workshops to help you develop your teaching skills and knowledge of pedagogy. To learn about how to assess your students’ learning, you may consider attending the GSI Teaching & Resource Center’s workshop Creating and Using Grading Rubrics, which is offered each semester. To learn how to assess the impact of your teaching on student learning, take the workshop Assessing Teaching and Learning.

Learn How to Write Learning Outcomes for Activities, Lesson Plans, and Courses

Writing learning goals for different aspects of your teaching is useful in concretizing what you would like students to be able to do with the material they are learning. In order to write clear, effective learning outcomes, familiarize yourself with Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. You can learn more about Bloom’s Taxonomy in the GSI Teaching & Resource Center’s Teaching Guide for GSIs. In particular, you may want to read about how to create learning objectives for writing assignments. Additionally, you may want to attend the GSI Teaching & Resource Center’s workshop on Syllabus and Course Design, where you can learn how to develop learning objectives for a course. The ability to formulate and measure outcomes has direct application for professionals in almost any career.

Develop and Use a Grading Rubric

Rubrics are grading scales that lay out the criteria used to assess a particular assignment or activity. Using a grading rubric can help you grade student work more effectively and efficiently, and can also be used to make grading criteria more transparent for your students. Familiarize yourself with the steps for creating and using a grading rubric by reading the section on grading rubrics in the GSI Teaching & Resource Center’s Teaching Guide for GSIs. The GSI Teaching and Resource Center also offers a workshop on Creating and Using Grading Rubrics.

Work One-on-One with Students to Identify and Rectify Gaps in Comprehension of Coursework

An important part of assessment is learning how to convey your feedback to students so that they will understand where they need to put additional effort to achieve the learning outcomes you have set for them.  Whether it be in writing on papers and assignments returned to students or face-to-face in office hours, giving constructive feedback to students will help you be an effective instructor and will give you high-quality practice in giving feedback on the work of others, an essential skill in almost any field.