Course-Level Assessment Resources

Course Learning Objectives & Goals

Starting in the 2016-17 academic year, all Bates faculty have been asked to include specific learning objectives for their courses. These learning objectives will be included on course evaluations. For more information about this effort at Bates and resources for developing course-level learning objectives or goals, see resources below. In addition, Bates Learning Assessment Specialist, Kika Stump, will be providing workshop sessions and consultations addressing this topic.

Course Learning Objectives Guide – Bates College (2018)
Developing Goals and Objectives – Bates College (2016)
VALUE rubric design & align webinar – AAC&U (2018)
Backward Design – Center for Teaching, Vanderbilt University
Integrated Course Design  – Fink (2003)
5E Instructional Model – Biological Sciences Curriculum Study


Syllabus Development 

Bates College course syllabus includes description, policies, requirements, schedule and measurable learning objectives assessed by faculty during the evaluation of student work. There are multiple examples of Bates faculty syllabi at various department/program webpages. For example: Anthropology, French & Francophone Studies, and others. The resources available below connect to resources at Bates to help in development, review, or building consistency in format:

Sample Syllabus Accessibility Statement – Bates College
Syllabus Design Handout – Faculty Commons at Bates College
Syllabus Template Language – Faculty Commons at Bates College


There are a myriad of syllabus development resources in the world of education beyond Bates. The links listed below highlight just a few of these external resources:

Universal Design for Learning: Syllabus – CAST, Boston MA
Syllabus Toolkit – Mailman School, Columbia University
The Open Syllabus Project – Columbia University


Curriculum Development & Course Planning

Design Project Guide – Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, Stanford University
An Integrative Approach to Curriculum Development…- Khan & Law (2015)
Bloom’s Taxonomy – Center for Teaching and Learning, Yale University
Understanding by Design – Wiggins & McTighe (2005)


Instructional Strategies

Bates College encourages faculty to engage students in active learning and other instructional approaches that can enhance the educational experiences for learners and instructors. To this effort, Bates recently opened Active Learning Classrooms in Carnegie Science Hall, rooms 225 & 339 (reserve here). To chat about how to maximize the opportunities in this space or discuss methods for refining instructional practices, see the select links below and/or contact the Bates Learning Assessment Specialist, Kika Stump at or x8220.

Inclusive Teaching Strategies – Center for Teaching & Learning, Yale University
Inclusive Teaching Strategies – Focus: International Students – The Ohio State University
Leading Discussions – Bok Center for Teaching & Learning, Harvard University

Discussion Guidelines – Stanford Teaching Commons

Group Work (Duke University) and Team-based Learning
Active Lecturing – University of Georgia
Think-Pair-Share – Stanford University
Interactive Presentations (Swink, 2010)

Interactive Lecturing – (Barkley & Major, 2016)

Lecturing – Vanderbilt Center for Teaching

Flipped Classroom – Center for Teaching & Learning, Yale University


Student Learning Assessments

Bates College academic experiences include course-level assessments such as portfolio, thesis, written essay, on-demand exam, demonstration, lab report, exhibition, capstone experience and others. Many departments/programs have student work shared on their webpages. Some examples include the Art and Visual Culture Studio Thesis Exhibitions , Mathematics placement exam, mapping described in Geology Short Term: West, and many others. Additional resources listed below include templates, models, theory, and other materials intended to support and facilitate existing faculty work in assessing their students’ learning.

Formative Assessment: Definitions & Theories
Developing the Theory of Formative Assessment – Black & Wiliam (2009)
Formative Assessment in Higher Education – Yorke (2003)
Formative Assessment: Models & Examples
Case-based Learning – Center for Teaching & Learning, Yale University
A Defense of Multiple-choice Exam – Katz Rothman (2016) The Chronicle of Higher Education
Classroom Assessment Techniques – Angelo & Cross (1993) with some selections of formative assessment compiled in these Examples
Summative Assessment: Research, Models & Examples
Retrieval Practices – Karpicke & Blunt (2011)
Rubric Development Webinar (slides) & (checklist) – Stanford University (2017)
VALUE rubric design & align webinar – AAC&U (2018)

VALUE Rubrics – AAC&U (2018)

The Risk of a Halo Bias… – Malouff et al. (2013) re: blind grading
Assessing Group Work – Eberly Center, Carnegie Mellon University

A-Rubric-for-Rubrics – B.Mullinix, Monmouth University


Teaching & Assessing Writing

Writing @ Bates has wonderful resources, guides and opportunities to connect with Bates professional writing specialists during individual consultations and faculty workshops.

VALUE Writing Rubric – AAC&U 

 How Students Learn

Toxic Stress – Harvard University
Metacognition – Sheridan Center for Teaching & Learning, Brown University
Multiple Intelligences (are not learning styles!) – Howard Gardner, more on the Learning Styles myth:  Yale Center for Teaching & Learning
Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes – precursor to Lev Vygotsky’s “Zone of Proximal Development” (described in Shabani et al., 2010)
Transfer of Knowledge – National Science Foundation (2002)


Feedback on Teaching & Student Learning

“For when we hide our light we collude in the overall cultural devaluation of our teaching vocation.” – bell hooks, Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope

Examining and understanding how and what students are learning in their experiences and academic work is an essential element of the continual process of providing high quality educational experiences…for students and educators (educators = faculty, staff, administration, parents, peers, etc.). Bates Dean of Faculty, Faculty Commons and the Learning Assessment Specialist facilitate this reflection by offering support and resources from Bates and other colleges/universities across the globe for collecting student opinions, evaluating curriculum and programming and providing colleague feedback. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel; the list below connects to a few of these tools.

Bates Mid-semester Assessment Process (FMI contact Kika Stump
Faculty Self-assessment – Smith College
From Traditional Accountability to Shared Responsibility – M. Cook-Sather (2009)
Samples of Mid-semester Assessment Models  – (Princeton, UC Berkeley, Brown, and others) via Smith College
Midterm Student Course Evaluations – Yale University
Dr. Poppy McLeod (video clip) – Cornell University
Mid-semester Assessment Feedback Question Bank – UC Berkeley


We would enjoy hearing about resources, materials or ideas that have worked for you, too!

To share resources, learn more about materials above, or discuss ways in which our office can support your teaching and course-level learning assessment work, contact Kika Stump at or 207.786.8220.