Designing Assessment, Assessing Instructional Design: From Pedagogical Concepts to Practical Applications by Stefanie Panke (Keynote Speaker)

by Joseph Greene (Guest Blogger)

Dr. Stefanie Panke, Instructional Analysts and UNC Chapel Hill, presented the Thursday morning Keynote message titled Designing Assessment, Assessing Instructional Design.  Dr Panke has a unique perspective on higher education as someone who was educated in Germany and now works in the U.S.  She made her resources for the conference available on her professional website at

Dr. Panke’s first major point was to ask if what we assess actually measures what we want to know?  She gave four suggestions for improving assessment: Move from assessment of learning to the assessment for learning, move from knowledge acquired to competencies applied, competency based instruction needs to be aligned with assessment, and move from test/quiz to assessment activities (time consuming).  She elaborated on assessment by mentioning five dimensions of authentic assessment, all of which should be considered a continuum: Task, physical context, social context, results, and criteria.  She finished this section by pointing out that when we say authentic assessment, we often mean creative assessment.

The second major portion of the presentation dealt with practical tools that have been discovered during UNC’s redesign of their Master of Public Administration program.  The first aspect was a needs assessment that included website redesign which involved using the personas method, where groups create personas of probable users, to aid in identifying the best possible design for the site.  Second was an impact assessment that featured a discussion on learning analytics as well as a discussion of competencies that tie directly into core courses and analytical rubrics to help assess those competencies (see image below).  The final portion of the practical tools section was classroom assessment which focused on e-portfolios.  There were three types of portfolios mentioned, Documentation that shows growth towards learning goals, Process which shows phases of the learning process, and Showcase which shows accomplishments and competencies.

Dr. Panke left us with an interesting final question for designing assessments.  How do you capture changing competencies?

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