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Learning Oriented Assessment

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The LOA cycle starts at the “macro level”, where key learning objectives are set at the start of a course. These objectives allow us to create a syllabus, which moves us into the “micro level”, where the course is actually taught. At this level, teachers are asked to identify a task designed to help students to work toward one of the learning objectives. This task is to be observed and informally assessed by the teacher.

The teachers are then to use these observations to make decisions on how to further organize the course. This includes giving students feedback on their performance, but could also involve changing the tasks ahead in accordance to students’ needs.

Teachers can also use a formal proficiency exam at the end of the course, the results of which can be used to complete the students’ profile. This allows them to combine evidence of learning and evidence for learning.

If you’re interested in implementing the LOA cycle in your classroom, here are some tips:

  • Make sure to set both higher-level learning outcomes and more specific objectives as well.
  • Identify the different styles of assessment.
  • Collect evidence in a systematic way.
  • Turn this evidence into individualized learning.
  • Build learners’ ability to learn!

“Learning Oriented Assessment”, Angeliki Salamoura and Sarah Unsworth. Cambridge University Press, 5 April, 2017, P5

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