Topics Map > Services > Teaching, Learning and Classrooms > Services for Faculty


Assessment is a process of gathering information about what students know, understand, and can do (Huba & Freed, 2000). The intent of assessment is not only to ‘gauge’ the learning process, but also to improve the process.

The Importance of Assessment

Assessments in education are important for measuring student achievement. They can take various forms, including traditional methods like exams and quizzes, as well as learning activities such as group projects and presentations.

Assessments serve multiple purposes, including:

  • Guiding instruction
  • Determining the need for reteaching, remediation, or enrichment
  • Pinpointing gaps in content knowledge or understanding
  • Confirming students’ comprehension of the material
  • Ensuring learning outcomes are met

An instructor's choice of assessment communicates to students what they value in their course. It directs students' focus toward the key achievements necessary for success. Therefore, your assessments must align with your learning outcomes to ensure students meet the learning outcomes. 

Authentic Assessment

Authentic assessments are real-life activities that connect to the student’s background, current, and future life. The assessments are aligned with the course goals and ask students to use their knowledge by solving problems, developing meaningful and applicable skills, and making connections between new and existing skills. Assignments can be designed to provide students with opportunities to use multimedia, technology, and other resources for their projects. This can promote student motivation and engagement by enabling greater attention to detail, encouraging creativity, and embracing challenges.

Things to Consider

The two main assessments used during a course are formative and summative assessment


What Is Formative Assessment?

Formative assessment is not a single method but a collection of approaches that teachers use to evaluate student comprehension, learning needs, and academic progress in real-time throughout a unit, module, or course.

These assessments help identify areas where students are struggling, skills they find challenging, or learning standards they have not yet met. This information allows instructors to adjust course content and instructional techniques to meet the needs of their students better.

The primary goal of formative assessment is to measure a student’s understanding during instruction. During formative assessment, the instructor focuses on giving feedback and considers strategies to promote students' learning. Examples include one-minute papers, quizzes, tests, or exams.

As learning and formative assessment expert Paul Black aptly describes, “when the cook tastes the soup, that’s formative assessment. When a customer tastes the soup, that’s summative assessment.”

What Is Summative Assessment?

Summative assessment is a type of evaluation that measures a student’s overall comprehension and achievement at the end of a unit, course, or academic period. It typically takes the form of final exams or projects and aims to gauge what students have learned. Unlike formative assessment, which provides ongoing feedback, summative assessment focuses on determining the extent to which students have mastered the content.

These high-stakes assessments are used for accountability purposes, such as grading, ranking, and reporting student achievement to administrators.

Tips/ best practices

Online Assessment Tips

Keywordsassessment, instructional design, course design, authentic assessment,   Doc ID119203
OwnerSharley K.GroupIT Knowledge Base
Created2022-06-22 14:08:08Updated2024-07-08 14:31:16
SitesIT Knowledge Base
Feedback  0   0