Course Evaluation Based on Course Objectives

By Barrick, R. Kirby; Deeds, Jacquelyn P. | NACTA Journal, March 2016 | Go to article overview

Course Evaluation Based on Course Objectives


Barrick, R. Kirby, Deeds, Jacquelyn P., NACTA Journal


March 1986

Introduction

Evaluation of a course should not be limited to evaluation of the instructor, instructional method and content. Serious consideration needs to be given to course assignments and how closely aligned the assignments are to course goals and objectives (Popham & Baker, 1970). "Student learning assessments provide feedback to teachers about areas of instruction that need further emphasis. Student learning assessments help insure quality control of instruction over a period of time" (Wentling, 1979. p. 238). How closely course grades are associated with completion of the objectives should be an important question for all teachers.

The emphasis in student assessment should reflect the content determined by the objectives of the course. "The importance of clearly defined objectives for the evaluative process cannot be overstressed. It is axiomatic, of course, that evaluation can be done only with respect to the objectives that are to be achieved" (Morse & Wingo, 1969, p. 481). Course assignments, as well, should be tied to course objectives that are developed and identified before the inception of a course. After the course is conceived in terms of objectives or outcomes, two questions need to be considered. How can teachers access those objectives through the evaluation of students? How do teachers make sure the factors that contribute to a student's grade reflect the goals of instruction and not factors extraneous to these goals?

In an attempt to answer the above questions for Agricultural Education 290, Communication of Agricultural Concepts, at The Ohio State University, student assessment information on nearly 900 students was analyzed. The analysis included demographic data, individual assignment and test grades and their relationship to the student's final grade in the course and the importance of each assignment to the student's final grade.

Background Information

Agricultural Education 290, Communication of Agricultural Concepts, is a service course for the College of Agriculture offered by the Department of Agricultural Education. AGR EDUC 290 is designed to teach procedures and practices in developing, interpreting and communicating concepts about agriculture and natural resources. The course emphasis is the use of visual materials and effective presentations.

Major Course Objectives

1. Describing the importance and the applications of the communication process in agricultural business, industry and education.

2. Analyzing and interpreting agricultural concepts and research data.

3. Organizing effective presentations using audio and/or visual communication techniques as well as using the related equipment for various audiences.

4. Performing effective presentations with the appropriate communication techniques and hardware for specific audiences.

5. Evaluating the productivity and efficiency of presentations and of their related components.

6. Demonstrating greater proficiency in interpersonal and group communication techniques.

The final grade in AGR EDUC 290 is determined by the percent of total points on a straight scale.

Course Assignments

1. Communication Strategy Plan - 25 points related to objectives 1, 3 and 4.

2. Speech with Visual Aid - 50 points related to objectives 1,2,3 and 4.

3. Midterm Exam - 100 points related to all objectives.

4. Audio-Visual Labs - 30 points related to objectives 3 and 4.

5. Self-Evaluation - 10 points related to objec. 5.

6. One Major or Two Minor Projects - 150 points related to objectives 1, 2. 3, 4, 5 and 6. Major and minor assignments were selected by the students based on individual needs and interests. Assignments could include writing a news story or journal article, doing demonstrations, illustrated talks or persuasive speeches, photo practicum or developing slide-sound presentations.

7. In-Class Assignments - 40 points related to various objectives, depending on assignments. …

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