Assessment Plans: The How

How do I create an assessment plan?

Creating a new assessment plan can seem daunting, but you can start by collecting three sources of information:

  1. Reference any assessment plan that already exists for your program or course
  2. Document assessment practices currently being used in your course
  3. Complete a needs assessment that considers your student characteristics, the decisions you need to make about your students, the information that would help you make your decisions, and your resources and constraints for collecting and documenting this information.

Working with these sources, write a plan that clearly answers the following questions:

  • What assessments will I use to assess my students’ language proficiency at the beginning, end, and interim points in this course?
    • Will I use external or locally-developed assessments?
    • Will I administer alternate forms or versions of the assessments to different groups of students?
  • How will student performances on these assessments be evaluated?
    • Will I use checklists, rubrics, or scoring sheets?
    • Is there any external scoring or checking of scores?
  • How will I interpret and report these assessment results?
    • What kind of feedback will I provide to my students?
    • How will I translate scores into grades?

You may find it helpful to complete an assessment plan checklist. After you have made your assessment plan, share it with appropriate stakeholders. These may include your students, colleagues, department head, and/or program chair.

On an ongoing basis after you have implemented the plan in your course, review your plan and think about how well you were able to execute it and the results you saw. Then adjust the plan as needed. Remember that your assessment plan must be aligned with your instruction, should be aligned with the language program or department in which your course is housed, and above all be feasible!