About the BSP Assessment Course 


» Application Period: January 15, 2016 – March 1, 2016
» Assessment Course: July 19-21, 2016 | North Bethesda, MD

"This institute was transforming for me. I greatly appreciate the hard work of staff and facilitators. As I continue to improve, I hope that I can encourage others to attend and expand the community of transformed educators."- 2011 Assessment Scholar

2015 Assessment Course Steering Committee
Carol Hurney, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Sarah Ades, Penn State University, University Park, PA
Gail Begley, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Bryan Dewsbury, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
Jordan Moberg Parker, University of California, Los Angeles, CA

The Assessment Course seeks biologists who utilize varied teaching strategies in their classrooms and laboratories and are motivated to design courses and assessments to maximize student learning.  Competitive applicants are individuals who are asking questions about the purpose of their courses AND the effectiveness of their course assessments.

The Assessment Course is comprised of key training components including several online pre-assignments, a three-day face-to-face meeting, specialized peer mentoring, and post-institute follow-up.

Course Goals
The overall goals of the Assessment Course are to:

• Develop measurable learning outcomes for courses or course modules grounded in research on teaching and learning
• Implement, integrate, and align assessment strategies with course learning outcomes
• Create a community of practitioners to sustain improvements in teaching and learning

The face-to-face meeting of Assessment Scholars is the Measuring Student Learning Institute, a three-day training session held in the summer just before the ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE; located at the same hotel).  The face-to-face meeting has its own unique set of goals:

• Develop measurable learning outcomes grounded in research on how people learn
• Develop formative and summative assessments that align with course learning outcomes
• Develop teaching methods or approaches that align with learning goals and assessments
• Modify or implement pedagogies to enhance student learning
• Integrate learning goals, assessment strategies and pedagogies that maximize student learning
• Foster networks to sustain improvements in teaching and learning

The Course organizers have compiled a collection of articles and resources for Assessment Scholars, which will be used during the Institute and in follow-up assignments.  Consider reviewing the research and progress made in the field of scholarship and teaching before applying.

Once accepted, Assessment Scholars immediately begin working on online pre-assignments and readings intended to prepare them for their work during the face-to-face Institute.  Prospective candidates should review the proposed 2016 syllabus below and plan accordingly.