Create Assessment Items Before Developing Instruction

Assessment by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

Following the Dick and Carey model of instructional design and other prominent instructional  models, the first task, after analyses (learner, context, and instructional), is to create learning objectives. The learning objectives should be measurable and observable; no squishy objectives allowed. One must be able to tell when the learning objective has been reached (observable) and the extent to which it has or has not been reached (measurable).

Immediately after creating  measurable and observable learning objectives, the savvy instructional designer or instructor or teacher will create assessment items that are aligned to the learning objectives. It is all about alignment to the learning objectives. Assessment items should be aligned to the learning objectives, and instructional content should be aligned to the learning objectives- providing content, resources, and activities that will assist the accomplishment of the learning objectives.

Assessment items that are misaligned to the learning objectives will not provide valid measures of the effectiveness of the instruction. Effectiveness of the instruction is determined by the extent to which the learning objectives have been accomplished, as measured by the assessment items. Creating the assessment items immediately after creating learning objectives and before the instruction will ensure unnecessary and irrelevant instructional material is excluded from your instruction as you conduct a constant comparison between the inchoate instruction and the aligned learning objectives and assessment items.

-WB

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