Professional Practice Skills

PPS-27  Self-Directed Learning

Assessing Learning

 (Adapted from MPS 36, Don Woods 2003)


Pre-class assignment

  1. Read sections What is It?, Why Do It?, New Concepts, How to  Do It, and Learning Objectives
  2. Establish your Baseline on this skill on the Listener Feedback Form.
  3. Be able to describe these aspects of listening Attending, Following, and Responding to Check Comprehension


What is It?


New Concepts


Why Do It?


How to Do It

Topic 4: Assessing Your Progress

Assessment is always the comparison of your work product with your measurable goal.  Skills are easier to assess than knowledge, because the product is often more tangible.  If your goal is to improve your 18 hole score in golf, the score card is all you need.  If your goal is to is to increase your knowledge of golf history by 30%, we have a harder problem. 


Problems in assessing “learning” are addressed in Bloom’s Taxonomy.  This is a classification that addresses “depth” of understanding.  It is one thing to be able to write down that s=Ee, but is something else to know the inherent assumptions and limitations of its applicability.  The gradation of knowledge from simple “read, repeat” to “create, critique” is laid out nicely in Bloom’s Taxonomy.  The table below also lists Question Cues that can be used to create assessable goals.



Skills Demonstrated


  • observation and recall of information
  • knowledge of major ideas
  • Question Cues:
    list, define, tell, describe, identify, show, label, collect, examine, tabulate, quote, name, who, when, where, etc.


  • understanding information
  • translate knowledge into new context
  • interpret facts, compare, contrast
  • predict consequences
  • Question Cues:
    summarize, describe, interpret, contrast, predict, associate, distinguish, estimate, differentiate, discuss, extend


  • use methods, concepts, theories in new situations
  • solve problems using required skills or knowledge
  • Questions Cues:
    apply, demonstrate, calculate, complete, illustrate, show, solve, examine, modify, relate, change, classify, experiment, discover


  • organization of parts
  • recognition of hidden meanings
  • identification of components
  • Question Cues:
    analyze, separate, order, explain, connect, classify, arrange, divide, compare, select, explain, infer


  • use old ideas to create new ones
  • generalize from given facts
  • predict, draw conclusions
  • Question Cues:
    combine, integrate, modify, rearrange, substitute, plan, create, design, invent, what if?, compose, formulate, prepare, generalize, rewrite


  • compare and discriminate between ideas
  • assess value of theories, presentations
  • make choices based on reasoned argument
  • Question Cues
    assess, decide, rank, grade, test, measure, recommend, convince, select, judge, explain, discriminate, support, conclude, compare, summarize

* Adapted from: Bloom, B.S. (Ed.) (1956) Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals: Handbook I, cognitive domain. New York ; Toronto: Longmans, Green. ( )


Sometimes an “expert” is useful in the assessment process.  In the case of a golf swing, assessment by a golf pro may be more relevant than the number on the score card.



In-Class Exercise

Exercise 1

Form into groups of 2-4



Exercise 2

Form into groups of 2-4



Exercise 3

For the surviving hypotheses from Exercise 2




Feedback Form


Name _______________________                     


1.       At the outset of this unit, place a “B” in each category to indicate your self assessment of your initial, or baseline skill level.

2.       At the end of the unit place an “A” in each category to indicate your self assessment of your skill level after practicing the skill.  Be prepared to provide documentation for your assessment.



(less successful)


(shows few expert behaviors)



Good Start

(some expert behavior)


Getting There

(many   expert behaviors)


Almost There

(mostly expert behavior)



(shows all expert behavior)




(more successful)


































































Reflection of the Listener

What did I learn from this?




Which of the skills do I do pretty well?  (List Evidence)




Which skills could use some work? (List Evidence)