When I am learning anything, I love getting results! My “result matters” approach is all about assessment tasks. So, if you want to learn how to drive up your results + have way more fun, keep reading …
Example. I want to improve my ability to putt in golf. First, I define my goals (i.e., learning outcomes): Goal #1. I know the fundamentals of the putting stroke. Goal #2. I putt well.
Second, I define my Assessment Tasks (AT):
- AT #1. From memory, explain the fundamentals of the putting stroke to a PGA pro and do this so well that he or she will validate that I have solid knowledge.
- AT #2. On the practice green, I will putt 4 times at 3 randomly selected holes (12 total putts) and make sure that I can sink more than 50% of my putts. I will be able to hit this goal on 80% of the days I play golf.
This example illustrates some attributes of an Assessment task (AT)
- An AT describes something that is useful; i.e., something that is worth learning.
- At AT answers the question: what will I be able to do if I have learned well.
- At AT is specific and measurable. I either can sink 50% of my putts from 6 feet or not.
- At AT describes the conditions (from memory, closed book, on the practice green, …..)
An Assessment Task is defined as something that a person who has learned well can do.
There are two main reasons why ATs work.
- The brain likes concrete and specific. The brain does not do well with “vague.” The AT transforms a vague idea (e.g., learn golf) into a concrete and desirable goal.
- The brain, when you reach a goal, releases dopamine which provides you with a burst of euphoria. Thus, when you accomplish an assessment task, you will get a natural high. This is why I say that authentic learning feels like the best thing ever invented.
I like to organize my ATs into categories:
- Fact/Concepts. I know the facts and concepts about topic XYZ.
- Process (How To). I can explain how to XYZ well.
- Self Knowledge. I can explain why I believe that XYZ is important or unimportant.
- Product/Performance. I can do XYZ well. I can build XYZ.