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Arts Education
Development Guide

Step 7: Develop an Assessment Strategy

Because you're implementing an education or learning program it's important for you to measure what students learn. Measuring learning helps the student and the instructor and provides data that you can use to advocate for and demonstrate the value of your program.

For the student, feedback about progress brings meaning to the experience and reinforces the learning that took place. It can also help redirect ideas and concepts that were missed in the learning process. For instructors, measurement provides insight into the effectiveness of the instruction and aids in identifying areas that can be enhanced, built and improved upon.

Assessment and evaluative data is also important for your organization as you communicate the value and need for your program to decision makers. Those who effect policy on education programs and those who make decisions on financial support (whether government, corporate, or private) all have the need of understanding the value and impact of your work. Your objective assessments, evaluative reports and anecdotal commentaries are all extremely important and will serve you well if properly designed and communicated.

Questions to consider when building your assessment strategy:

  1. What were the learning goals or objectives?

  2. How will I measure whether my students achieved the learning goals?

  3. How will I determine the level to which students achieved the learning goals?

  4. How can I document and report what my students have learned from their experience with this project?

  5. Are my students able to articulate what they have learned and how important the program is to them?

  6. How can I document and report what students have learned from their experience with this project in ways that are meaningful?