Learning Assessment Techniques (LATs)

Incorporating Learning Assessment Techniques (LATs) is a quick and effective way to assess student learning throughout the semester. Learning assessment techniques are techniques that bridge “teaching and assessment together to create a seamless and unified process.” (Barkley & Major, 2016; p. xiv).  The LAT involves three processes of Planning, Implementing, and Responding.

How do Classroom Assessment Technique and Learning Assessment Techniques differ?

LATS can incorporate aspects of Classroom Assessment Technique in the implementation phase but unlike a CAT, LATS require instructors to integrate assessment within the CAT. For example, one popular CAT is the 1 minute paper (connect to 1 minute paper description). A LAT would begin by the instructor a) identifying the purpose of the activity and what they hope to learn and why; b) implementing the 1 minute paper, and c) reviewing what students had written in the 1 minute paper and reflecting on how the activity was implemented and 4) identifying improvements that need to be made in the classroom setting.

The LAT involves three processes of Planning, Implementing, and Responding

Three components of LATs
  1. Identification of a meaningful set of learning goals/outcomes
  2. An active learning instructional activity that requires students to create an assessable product providing direct evidence of learning.
  3. Guidance on how to analyze the artifact and report data to multiple stakeholders
The LAT Cycle Phase One: Plan
  • Step 1: Clarify what you want students to learn.
  • Step 2: Determine why you are assessing their learning.
Phase Two: Implement
  • Step 3: Select a LAT
  • Step 4: Implement a LAT
Phase Three: Respond
  • Step 5: Analyze and report results
  • Step 6: “Close the Loop” by identifying and making changes to improve learning.

Identifying Learning Goals

Learning Assessment Techniques begin with clarifying what instructors want students to learn. To help college instructors identify their student learning goals, Barkley and Major created the learning goals inventory based on Fink’s (2013) Taxonomy of Significant Learning (see image below). Fink’s categories of learning include foundational knowledge, application, integration, human dimension, caring, and learning how to learn. Instructors who would like to identify their learning goals, may access the Learning Goals Inventory webpage (Barkley & Major, 2016).
Fink’s categories of learning include: foundational knowledge, application, integration, human dimension, caring, and learning how to learn

References

  • Barkley, E. F., & Major, C. H. (2016). Learning assessment techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass.
  • Fink, L. D. (2013). Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.