Check for Learning

An instructor calls on students who are raising their hands to respond.
Check for Learning
Checking for learning takes place throughout a course — before, during, and after instruction. Wherever these assessments occur, they yield information about learning that benefits both instructor and students.

How Can I Do This?

Use your learning outcomes to create checks for learning before, during, and after instruction that tell you and your students how well they are achieving those outcomes.  Focus on assessing what students already know or believe, what they are coming to understand or what they are learning, and then what they have learned.

Before: Diagnostic Checks for Learning

Diagnostic assessments provide usable knowledge about what students already know and understand before instruction. Ask yourself these questions as you plan this check for learning:

During: Formative Checks for Learning

Formative assessments show how students are progressing toward the course learning outcomes during a particular period of instruction. Ask yourself these questions as you plan these checks for learning:

After: Summative Checks for Learning

Summative assessments “sum up” what your students have learned after completing a course or instructional unit. Ask yourself these questions as you plan your summative checks for learning:

Why Is This Important?

Learning takes place in students’ heads, and we can’t see what’s actually being learned until we check for learning.  These checks allow you to “see” and assess how and what students are learning. You and your students can use this information throughout the instructional process:

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