Identify Potential Assessments

Consider Assessment Types

Assessments may take many forms. They might include instructor assessment of the student, student self-assessment and peer assessment. Your course assessments may include:

  • Diagnostic assessments – ungraded assessments to provide you and your students with an understanding of where they are right now in their knowledge and skills
  • Formative assessments – graded and ungraded assessments to measure your students’ progress (beyond their starting point, but before their final understanding and skill-level)
  • Summative assessments – to measure students’ cumulative understanding and skills in relation to the course learning outcomes

At the course design stage, consider identifying a variety of assessment methods, from quizzes and exams to papers, projects, online discussions, journals, case studies or presentations. Find more ideas.

Integrate Diagnostic & Formative Assessments

Integrate diagnostic and formative assessments and practice opportunities throughout the course. Diagnostic and formative assessments are low-stakes activities for students to practice new skills, reflect on and apply what they are learning, and engage more deeply with class content. Formative assessments and practice opportunities provide feedback for the students, and to help them identify areas where they may need additional help or practice. Formative assessments also provide feedback for instructors, helping them to understand how students are progressing and to adjust their teaching as the semester progresses.

Establish & Schedule Summative Assessments

Summative assessments are used at the end of an instructional unit or course to assess student performance and proficiency. These tend to be higher-stakes, weighing more in how grades are determined. Summative assessment help answer, “How well did the student meet course learning outcomes.” At this point in your planning process, rather than try to write the actual tests or quizzes, aim instead to determine what kinds of summative assessments to use, when summative assessments will occur, and how they will be weighted.