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Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) - Overview

The Classroom Assessment Techniques -- CATs (Angelo and Cross, 1993) within the FLAG are succinct, self-contained, self-instructional, web-based modules that introduce a broadly applicable technique for use in college or university SMET courses. Each CAT has been written by a college or university instructor who currently uses the technique, and has been reviewed by the FLAG Editorial Board for accuracy and consistency with current professional standards of assessment. In most cases, the technique has an extensive history of research to support claims of reliability and validity. The CATs are linked to a set of discipline-specific "tools" that can be downloaded for immediate use.

Each CAT is composed of a set of common features:

  • Focus Questions: Overview of strategy; general requirements and limitations of implementation.
  • Description: Succinct but thorough introduction.
  • Purposes: Indications of appropriate usage.
  • Limitations: Contra-indications and potential problems.
  • Teaching Goals: List of course goals addressed by the strategy.
  • Suggestions for Use: Friendly "Tips" from an experienced user.
  • Step-by-Step: Explicit directions for implementation.
  • Variations: Alternative uses and elaborations.
  • Analysis: Making sense of the data; uses in evaluation.
  • Pros and Cons: Advantages and disadvantages.
  • Theory and Research: Conceptual and empirical foundations.
  • Links: URLs or email addresses of CAT authors for direct contact by users.
  • Sources: Books, papers, related web-sites.
  • Author's Story: Personalized description of author and how (s)he came to use strategy.

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