Objectives and Assessments

The first step in our course design will be writing our OBJECTIVES and choosing ASSESSMENTS to measure achievement of the objectives.


Unit Overview and Objectives

In the face-to-face session, I introduced the idea of a course blueprint – the very simplest version being a chart of objectives and assessments.

However, you will build a blueprint for ET500 a step at a time, so after this unit you will be able to:

  • Develop measurable course objectives.
  • Design assessments to measure the achievement of the learning objectives.


  • What is a Course Blueprint?

    The course blueprint will help you plan your course and ensure alignment between the key components.

    There is no right or wrong format for this document – it is a tool for YOU and so it needs to fit the way you think.

    The blueprint starts as just two columns – objectives and assessments.  Starting Blueprint.docx

    As each element of the course is added, the blueprint can grow into a course map or course schedule that is handy both for you and for the students.

    Take a look at this sample layout that many instructors are using.  It includes the course objectives, activities, and graded assignmetns (aka assessments).  It also includes due dates – so the instructor has been able to turn a planning document into a useful schedule for students.

    Course Schedule

    This is another sample that presents information in a more visual way, but essentially accomplishes the same goal.

    Course Map


  • Designing Assessments

    So, we know that Multiple Choice is not the right answer to many assessment questions!!

    But what is the “right” answer?  As with all elements of your course design, there is no RIGHT way to do things – you will continue to refine the design and you delve deeper and deeper into the course.

    However, let’s get started on designing assessments to measure your objectives.

    The following article from the Journal of Online Learning and Teaching provides an introduction to Online Assessment Strategies.  Other topics of interest include both formative and summative assessment along with some comments on cheating.

    This short handout provides an overview of assessment strategies as they relate to the Quality Matters standards, along with links to helpful sites available to help you match your assessments to your objectives.

    In addition, some of you may be considering using tests in your online courses.  This short document provides some of the features and challenges in using online testing.

    And finally, what better way to get ideas for assessments than from other experienced faculty?  This short document provides examples from UNC instructors that illustrate:

    • interesting ideas for assessments
    • how an assessment can match course objectives

    This is an interactive activity, similar to the one about Blooms Taxonomy.  The name says “Activities”, but it will be helpful for you in picking assessments to match objectives at different levels in Blooms Taxonomy


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