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Access to modern information technology (IT) tools allows new approaches to assessing student performance. In this article, a simple, IT-facilitated system, was developed to generate outcome-based student grades and assess the level of achievement and emphasis of course outcome (CO) and program outcome (PO). The system is based on relating the smallest practical assessment items (SPAIs), such as individual questions on exams, to the CO and recording student performance on the SPAIs. The resulting outcome-based grades allow assessing the strengths and weaknesses of individual students in terms of achieving the various COs. The system provides instructors with indicators useful for aligning and balancing students' assessment with the COs, and allows programs to improve alignment of COs with POs. Outcome-based grade reports can also be generated for individual students as well as for courses and programs. A drawback of the system is that it requires extra effort to record grades on each SPAI, but the extra effort is necessary for generating meaningful grades. The system was programmed in a spreadsheet and its use was demonstrated using a case study from the Civil Engineering Program (CEP) at the University of Sharjah (UoS).
Date of Conference: 4-6 Aug. 2011