6 – Assessing

Blending Assessment and Feedback for Learning

The only way we can properly judge where we are is relative to where we want to be.
Grant Wiggins, Educative Assessment: A Vision

About this chapter

Chapter 6, Blending Assessment and Feedback for Learning focuses on the importance of feedback as a component of assessments, and describes advantages that blended courses offer by enabling a mix of online and onsite assessment methods.

From the guide…

To Do

Many chapters of this guide feature a “to do” item to help you focus your own blended course design:

By the end of this chapter, you will have made notes about specific assessment(s) for a single prototype lesson in your course design map. Your notes should indicate if these assessments take place online or onsite, and what you will need to do to build those.


Some chapters of this guide feature a “reflection” task to activate your background experience to inform your blended course design:

Before you begin exploring blended assessments, think back on your own academic career. Remember the tests, papers, projects, and so on that you had to complete in order to pass classes. Do any of those assessments stand out in your memory? If so, why?

Think of one assessment that seemed quite brilliant at measuring what you actually knew. Now, think of one that did a poor job. What made the difference?

Think of one assessment that guided you to correct any misunderstandings, and lead you to learn more and perform better in the future. Also, think of assessments that gave you little or no useful feedback, and if that wasted an opportunity for learning.

Finally, consider if these assessments benefitted from onsite presence or face-to-face interaction? Did they or could they have benefitted from the computer’s power of automation, access to information, and instant feedback?

This reflection should prepare you to consider the variety of blended assessment options with effectiveness and personal impact in mind.

References & Readings

Amado, M., Ashton, K., Ashton, S., et al. (2011). Project management for instructional designers. Retrieved from idpm.us.

Hall, H., & Davison, B. (2007). Social software as support in hybrid learning environments: The value of the blog as a tool for reflective learning and peer support. Library and Information Science Research, 29, 163–187.

Hounsell, D. (2003). Student feedback, learning and development. In M. Slowey & D. Watson (Eds.), Higher education and the lifecourse (pp. 67–78). Berkshire, UK: Open University Press.

Karpicke, J. D., & Roediger, H. L. (2008). The critical importance of retrieval for learning. Science, 319(5865), 966–968.

Lemley, D., Sudweeks, R., Howell, S., et al. (2007). The effects of immediate and delayed feedback on distance learners. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 8(801), 251–260.

Radford, C., & Legler, N. (2012). Exploring the efficacy of online ASL. Conference presentation. InstructureCon 2012, Park City, Utah. Retrieved from vimeo.com/45325373.

Sadler, P. M., & Good, E. (2006). The impact of self- and peer-grading on student learning. Science Education, 11(1), 1–31. Shea, P. (2007). Towards a conceptual framework for learning in blended environments. In A. G. Picciano & C. D. Dziuban (Eds.), Blended learning: Research perspectives (pp. 19–35). Needham, MA: The Sloan Consortium.

Wiggins, G. (1998). Educative assessment: Designing assessments to inform and improve student performance. Hoboken, NJ: Jossey- Bass.