What is an Evidence-based Assessment?

An evidence-based assessment is an outline representation of a learner's mental schema. Learners demonstrate competence by integrating their observations from an applied learning activity such as a scenario with their relevant knowledge that explains those observations. When educators work through the same learning activity and build an assessment, they and learners can see what one another is thinking along with the evidence for those thoughts.

Evidence-based assessments can be used to represent understanding of any scenario for any domain at any level of detail. Examples include diagnosis of problems in humans, plants, or animals, or troubleshooting mechanical and technical issues. Other types of thinking include plant breeding, biochemistry, psychotherapy, emergency management protocols, approaches to problem-solving, or a plan of action. The following links show examples from psychotherapy and veterinary medicine.

Assessments demonstrate understanding of course material, and provide evidence of knowing. They can be brought to class for discussion, or submitted to a course management system prior to class as evidence of preparation. The Applied Learning Platform also provides a free component for peer-evaluation of an assessment.

How do learners work through an applied learning activity?

1) Learners receive a word processing document containing the XML markup tags of the an applied learning activity.
2) They open the document and copy its contents to their clipboard.
3) They start the Applied Learning Platform, select Begin an activity, and paste the contents of their clipboard into the dialog box.
4) Next, they identify relevant observations in the activity.
5) Then they use their knowledge and understanding to build an assessment that explains those observations.
6) Assessments can be submitted prior to class as evidence of preparation and/or brought to class for discussion.

To learn more, demonstration videos are available.