After completing this course, the student is able to:
- explain and compare some prevalent ways to assess learner characteristics;
- evaluate the nature and use of progress tests of basic competencies;
- understand and apply the basics of adaptive assessment of learning outcomes;
- explain and analyze how the assessment of learner characteristics and learning outcomes can be used to differentiate classroom instruction;
- explain and analyze how the assessment of learning activities can be used to design adaptive, technology-enhanced learning environments.
Connection to the work field
Educational psychology is an applied discipline, so as a graduate of this track you should have some insight in educational practice. This course introduces you to assessments that are used in education. Among other things, you will be familiarized with standardized progress monitoring tests of reading comprehension and mathematics used in elementary schools and learn how scores are computed and transformed into proficiency levels (A to E, or I to V). You will also discuss how testing services such as Cito adapt their progress monitoring tests to the ability level of each child, and whether and how such computer-adaptive testing is as accurate as non-adaptive testing. Finally, you will be introduced to and evaluate some prevalent ways to differentiate instruction, including the reasons why differentiation is (too) difficult for most elementary school teachers.
This course focuses on the use of psychological research methods and instruments in educational practice. Specifically, the course addresses two core questions: (1) How can learner characteristics, learning outcomes, and learning activities be validly assessed in educational practice?, and (2) How can these assessments shape the design of adaptive (technology-enhanced) learning environments? Through a series of lectures and tutorials, you will be introduced to various types of tests and assessments, their psychometric properties, and actual application in regular classrooms. You will also learn how teachers and instructional designers use assessment data to develop and deliver instruction that is sensitive to the needs of individual learners.