Assessment types | Formative | Standardized |

Overview | Assess recall | Assess critical thinking | Assess problem solving | Assess application| Assess attitudes

The assessment techniques listed in this section are collected from Angelo and Cross's book Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers. They are meant to supplement traditional and summative forms of assessments such as examinations and term projects. These appealing formative and less formal assessment techniques can address different levels of learning objectives. They are particularly useful for online instructors to collect information from students and make adjustments to the course.


Misconception/Preconception Check
Identifying some of the most troublesome common misconceptions or preconceptions students bring to your course. Create a simple questionnaire (Likert-scale) to elicit information about students’ ideas and beliefs in these areas. This technique is designed to uncover specific instances of incorrect or incomplete knowledge, attitudes, or values that represent likely barriers to new learning.

Minute Paper
After completing a section or module, the instructor asks students to respond briefly to some variation of the following question: What was the most important thing you learned during this section? Students write their responses and submit them by e-mail. This technique provides manageable amounts of timely and useful feedback for a minimal investment of time and energy. It also ensures that students' questions will be raised and in many cases answered in time to facilitate further learning.


Analytic Memos
The Analytic Memo requires students to write a one or two page analysis of a specific problem or issue. The person for whom the memo is being written is usually identified as an employer, a client, or a stakeholder who needs the student's analysis to inform decision making. It assesses students’ ability to analyze assigned problems by using the discipline-specific approaches, methods, and techniques they are learning. Analytic Memos are particularly useful in disciplines that clearly relate to public policy or management.

Word Journal
Student summarizes a short text in a single word and then writes a paragraph or two explaining why he or she chose that particular word to summarize the text. Practice with this technique helps students develop the ability to write highly condensed abstracts and to chunk large amounts of information for more effective storage in long-term memory. It helps instructors assess students’ skills in reading, summarizing and defending and is best used to assess the reading of short texts.

Problem Recognition Tasks
Choose examples of several different, but related problem types that students find difficult to distinguish. The students’ task is to recognize and identify the particular type of problem each example represents. These tasks help instructors assess how well students can recognize various problem types and problem-solving approaches. This technique is useful in quantitative and technical fields, as well as policy analysis, nursing, medicine, law, and counseling.

Whats the Principle?
After students figure out what type of problem they are dealing with, they often must then decide what principle(s) to apply in order to solve the problem. This technique focuses on the second step in problem solving. It provides students with a few problems and asks them to state the principle that best applies to each problem. This technique assesses students’ ability to associate specific problems with the general principles used to solve them.

Application Cards
After students have read about an important principle, generalization, theory, or procedure, the student is asked to write down at least one possible, real-world application for what they have just learned. Have students submit their Applications Cards by e-mail or messages and let students know when they will get feedback. Pick out three to five of the best applications to share with the class. This technique can be used as a starting point for discussions of the possible consequences of various applications.

Paper or Project Prospectus
A prospectus is a brief, structured first-draft plan for a term paper. This technique assesses students’ skill at synthesizing what they have already learned about a topic or field as they plan their own learning projects. It is best to use this technique immediately after the paper or project is assigned, so that there will be adequate time for analysis and feedback.

Class Opinion Polls (Survey Monkey, Google Docs, Adobe Connect, Doodle)
Class Opinion Polling helps instructors discover student opinions about course-related issues. Choose questions or issues about which students may have opinions that could affect their learning for class opinion poll. Class Opinion Polling encourages students to discover their own opinions about issues, to compare their opinions with those of their classmates, and to test their opinions against evidence and expert opinion. Polling can also be used as a pre- and post-assessment device, to determine whether and how students' opinions have changed in response to class discussions and assignments. There are various tools available to collect students opinions, including Survey Monkey, Google Docs, Adobe Connect, Doodle, and etc.

Focused Autobiographical Sketches
In this technique, students are directed to write a one or two-page autobiographical sketch focused on a single successful learning experience in their past. Sketch provides information on the students' self-concept and self-awareness as learners within a specific field. This technique is appropriate for any course that is likely to cause student anxiety and that aims at helping students develop their self-confidence, self-awareness, and skill at self-assessment.