I. Course Design Principles>C. Assessments

I.C.1 Any assessments (exams, quizzes, papers, lab reports, or other graded work) are closely aligned to the learning objectives, and to the module content and activities.

Values Supported



Identifying learning objectives creates the expectation that assessments will measure progress on these objectives. Furthermore, you will want to know if your materials and activities have helped the students successfully to meet your objectives.

This element supports Transparency, because assessment is itself a learning experience, and conveys the underlying organization of the course. It also supports Alignment, because learning objectives and learning activities should be aligned, and assessing outcomes based on learning objectives relies on that alignment. Further, this element supports Responsibility, because when students know they will be assessed on the learning objectives, they can focus their efforts more effectively.


Assessment should be consistent with subject matter and the degree of difficulty or complexity of the learning objectives (that is, lower or higher-order thinking skills). If the learning objectives call for students to demonstrate knowledge or comprehension, then the appropriate assessment would ask them to list, define or identify words or items (to show knowledge), or to describe, contrast, or predict among words or items (to show comprehension). If the learning objectives call for students to demonstrate analysis, synthesis or evaluation, then the appropriate assessment would ask them to order, explain or connect (to show analysis), or to combine, integrate, or rearrange (to show synthesis), or to assess, rank or recommend (to show evaluation).

Assessment should also be consistent with the exercises and activities within the course unit, so students will have an appropriate opportunity to develop the skills on which they will be assessed.


Student Assessment

Assessment and Learning Objectives