Assessment and Grading
An assessment is an evaluation as to whether are not a student has learned the required knowledge and skills for the course. Assessments are more than just a method to assign a grade; they are a powerful tool for measuring and guiding the learning process. A good assessment provides feedback on which concepts or tasks the students are struggling with, so the instructor can devise ways to help them better understand and apply the material.
Types of Assessment
Educators can use several types of assessments in their courses.
A diagnostic assessment, such as a placement test or pretest, can be administered before placing a student in a course or at the start of a course to determine each students' level of proficiency, comprehension and mastery of information. It is important for students to be informed that diagnostic assessments are not graded assignments but tools used to help place them them in the correct level course or to help the faculty member determine their students' strengths and weaknesses.
Formative assessments, which can be formal or informal, are used to determine if students are attaining the course objectives or if teaching styles need to be modified as the course progresses to help students achieve the core outcomes. Formative assessments can come in many forms such as observation, group discussions, assignments, projects and quizzes. They typically allow for immediate feedback which aids the faculty member and the student in tracking the status of their learning experience.
Summative assessments are used to measure the level of proficiency at the end of an instructional unit in order to compare what students have learned to a standard or benchmark. Since they are a cumulative assessment, summative assessments typically have a high point value. Midterms, final exams and final projects are often forms of summative assessment.
Assessment Resources from the Web
- Edutopia, Formative Assessment and Grading
- Edutopia, Why is assessment important?
- Northern Illinois University, Formative and Summative Assessment
Canvas Help on Creating Assessments
- What are Quizzes for instructors?
- What quiz types are available in Canvas courses?
- Seven steps to building a quiz in Canvas
- How do I create a quiz with individual questions?
- What options are available in Canvas quizzes?
- How do I create a question bank in my course?
Grading Using a Rubric
Rubrics can help direct students to the most important components of a non-quiz assessment. They can also assist in providing consistent grading practices.
Here are some helpful resources for creating rubrics:
- Association of American Colleges and Universities VALUE Rubrics
- Carnegie Mellon University, Creating and Using Rubrics
- Carnegie Mellon University Eberly Center, Examples by College
Creating Rubrics in Canvas
- Amy Carpenter
- Jennifer Paskett
- Elisa Taylor
- Travis Thurston
- Erin Wadsworth-Anderson