To align the assessment in a course with the learning objectives and the learning and teaching activities, and to make sure you assess all learning objectives, you can use an assessment matrix. In it, you make explicit what you are going to assess, on which level you are going to assess and what assessment method you will use. This way, you can see at a glance which assessment methods will be used, which learning objectives are assessed and what weight the assessment carries in your course. Thus, the assessment matrix is an important tool to make important decisions about students.
An assessment matrix gives an overview
You use an assessment matrix for all assessment in a course. In the matrix, you can indicate what cognitive or action level (Bloom/Miller) you assess. In addition, you can indicate the weighting of the various assessments within a course.
As long as the learning objectives of a course and the learning and teaching activities do not change, it is not necessary to modify the assessment matrix. The distribution of questions on learning objectives for assessments, retakes and assessments in subsequent years will then remain the same in terms of content and level.
The assessment matrix as a tool per phase of the assessment cycle
The assessment can be used as a tool in different phases of the assessment cycle. You can see the matrix as a kind of blueprint for assessing.
- Phase 3 ‘Choosing and constructing an assessment method’: In this phase you can use the assessment matrix to make a specification table. This is a table in which you indicate on what level and with how many questions (items) you assess the learning objectives and subjects of a course.
- Phase 6 ‘Analysing an assessment’: During the analysis of the assessment and the results, you can combine the learning objectives and cognitive level to look at how well students answered the questions and whether the question sufficiently tested the knowledge it was trying to test. After the assessment, you can use the assessment matrix to justify the validity of the assessment results.
- Phase 8 ‘Evaluating and improving an assessment’: When evaluating an assessment, you can use the assessment matrix as a guide when asking evaluative questions. Were the learning objectives weighed and measured correctly? Did the item types, in hindsight, fit the learning objectives? Was the cognitive level sufficiently assessed with the used item types?