5 Assessment of Student Learning

Each faculty member engaging as a co-researcher with an ILO Pod is responsible for assessing two of their peers’ course assignments.

Faculty are provided a random sample of course assignments. The sample size can vary by ILO Pod. For example, an ILO Pod may collectively decide to assess 10 assignments, while another ILO Pod may choose to assess 15. Typically, ILO Pods opted for 10 random course assignments selected from each course, requiring that each faculty member assess 20 course assignments using the shared rubric.

Depending on the faculty members’ experience with using rubrics, their familiarity with the discipline they are assessing, and the relevance of the rubric to the course assignment design, it can take between 15 and 30 minutes to assess each assignment. In Pilots #1 and #2, faculty conducted the assessment during a time of their own choosing, rather than simultaneously with their peers, and submit their ratings by a pre-determined deadline. In Pilot #3, to address challenges with inter-rater reliability, peers assessed student assignments during a two-day assessment institute with multiple comparison checks (Hoare et al., forthcoming).

The following instructions are provided to faculty members to guide them through the assessment of selected course assignments (Table 4.1).

Table 4.1 Assessor Instructions
1. Review the rubric
  • Are any of the descriptions unclear?
  • Are the levels (beginning, developing, meeting, exceeding) sufficient for the course assignment being assessed?
2. Review the assignment description
  • Are the categories (rows) relevant to the assignment?
3. Assess the assignments using the rubric and rating sheet provided
  • Provide your rating, and identify strengths, and areas for the student to further develop using the Assessor Rating Sheet (PDF).
  • Which level (column) did the student achieve for each criteria (row)?
  • Indicate any criteria that is not applicable as “N/A”.
  • Provide a brief description of a strength. These strengths will be themed across course assignments.
  • Provide a brief description of an area for the student to further develop. These areas will be themed across course assignments.
4. Provide feedback on the rubric
  • Are any criteria or descriptions difficult to assess? If so, what made it difficult?
  • Are any criteria clear or easy to assess? If so, what made them clear?
  • Do you have any suggestions for improving the rubric?

The Assessor Rating Sheet provides assessor ratings for 10 course assignments with each column representing a student, and each row the rating, a strength, and an area to further develop. Strength and Area to further develop descriptions are brief and often informed by the rubric descriptions. The fourth section of the Assessor Rating Sheet gathers insightful feedback that helps to inform Debrief discussions and improvements to SAIL.


Hoare, A., Austin, L., Thomas-Francois, K., & Pypker, T. (in review, Mar 1, 2024). Student achievement of institutional learning outcomes: Case study of a regional university in Western Canada.


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Strategic Assessment of Institutional Learning Copyright © by Carolyn Hoessler and Alana Hoare is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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