Cognitive domain evaluations

Cognitive domain evaluations

Cognitive Domain

Cognitive domain assessments

Formative evaluation is used as a strategy for improvement and for adjusting educational processes, with the purpose of verifying the achievement of learning objectives and/or expectations.

The basis of the evaluative process is the definition of quality criteria, since it determines its central aspects: expected performance, its different levels, test results and feedback.

Neus Sanmartí (2005):
“The first characteristic that an assessment intended to promote learning must have is that it can be perceived by students as a real help, generating positive expectations.
But the didactic problem we teachers face is how to ensure that this expectation is fulfilled, i.e., that assessment promotes more and better learning and, in addition, that we find pleasure in it.”


Question-based evaluations

The traditional written or “pencil-paper” test falls into the category of so-called “question-based assessments” and remains a valid assessment tool, sometimes necessary in a variety of learning environments.

However, in recent years, other types of pencil-paper tests have emerged in an online modality, making the student experience considerably more dynamic or entertaining and, unlike traditional tests, can be categorized as “active”.

Among the best known is Kahoot!, a platform that provides various tools for gamification, deep learning and testing.

The Kahoot! pencil-paper tests are constructed as a contest among participants, where the competitive element works so well that even in the face-to-face mode the teacher does not have to worry about copying among students.

It also has the advantage of instant feedback, since after the time allotted for each question, the platform shows the percentage of students who got it right and those who did not.

It is also the precise tool for ad-hoc verification of learning and understanding, creating the opportunity for the teacher to reinforce or explain those ideas or contents that were not understood or correctly incorporated by the students.


Performance-based evaluations

Active application methodologies, such as case studies, problem-based learning and project-based learning, among others, require cognitive domain testing methods called “performance-based” such as, for example, dissertations, exhibitions, portfolios, etc.

Their purpose is to assess what students are able to do and are eminently practical.

Procedural and attitudinal contents are evaluated, and the mastery of certain competencies, abilities, skills or aptitudes is verified through the observation of the student’s performance in carrying out certain tasks or activities.

For this purpose, in courses that use some type of active methodology, students will be evaluated based on work done and according to an observation guideline and/or performance rubric provided in advance.

In this way, students know in advance how and with which criteria they will be evaluated.

If necessary, and as a support to the correct development of a task, these guidelines can be accompanied by a step-by-step application guide, a practical tool that allows structuring the requested work in a logical way and according to the evaluation criteria.