Student Evaluation and Testing Methods
American Sentinel is committed to using the most appropriate evaluation procedures to allow students to demonstrate their mastery of academic content. As courses and programs are diverse, so are the types of evaluation. The university regularly reviews its evaluation procedures to ensure their effectiveness. Students’ assessments at the conclusion of each course are reviewed to ensure any student concerns about the appropriateness and impartiality of evaluation methods are addressed.
Many of the evaluation procedures in American Sentinel’s courses provide learning experiences that help integrate students’ classroom knowledge with their work experience, such as writing computer code for a civic organization, developing organizational plans or developing a heath assessment procedure. Applying knowledge this way contributes to the development of students’ professional and civic lives.
Course evaluation procedures vary by course. Students are evaluated in one or all of the following methods:
- Participation – Students are required to participate in activity sessions and/or group discussions online. Regular presence and active involvement is essential for both individual learning and the learning of other students in the course.
- Reflective journals – Journal assignments require students to periodically submit written reflections about what they learned from the content of readings, class discussions and activities and how their learning relates to their professional situation. The journals are for each student’s personal growth and will not be shared. Each submission will be given a mark. The marks will be averaged and will count for a specified percentage of the final grade.
- Synthesis of required readings research paper – Some courses require final research papers. The final paper builds on prior learning, research and reflection and should show evidence of appropriate academic writing style and conform to the guidelines of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (most recent edition, which is the 6th edition as of July 2009).
- Exams – Exams are a formal knowledge-based evaluation methodology. If required, final exams will be scheduled for three to four days following the end of a course. All exams are to be completed within a specified time. Some exams are open book, while others are proctored (taken in the presence of someone who verifies a student’s identity).
- Progress tests – Some courses provide embedded tests, known as progress tests. These are developed by faculty to provide students the opportunity to demonstrate their command of certain content and receive feedback.
- Written computer code/program assignments – Many courses in our technology programs require students demonstrate their understanding of technological concepts by writing computer code or programs.
- Peer evaluation: group assignments – Occasionally, students work in groups on special projects. The peer evaluation process requires peers to assign marks in addition to providing feedback on group assignments. Peer evaluations serve to increase motivation and enhance the learning process.
- Program evaluation – Students’ progress through a degree program is monitored to ensure that overall degree program objectives are being met. American Sentinel has established a set of program objectives, required and elective courses, prerequisites and suggested program tracks and suggested career ladders to ensure students meet both program and overall course objectives. Faculty regularly review students’ progress to maintain high academic and professional standards.