Types of Assessments

In this module, you will learn about assessment types, authentic assessment, rubrics, and feedback.

After you’ve completed this module, you will be able to:

  • Differentiate formative and summative assessments and identify examples of each
  • Define “authentic assessment”
  • Create a rubric for a specific assignment

Alignment with SLOs

When we consider assessments, the first thing to think about is alignment. Assessments must be aligned with your course SLOs (and program ones, as applicable).


To ensure alignment, plan to assess all SLOs at some point during the course. If you have assessments that don’t map onto any SLOs in your course, consider eliminating or revising them.


Grading vs. Assessment: What is the Difference?

There is sometimes confusion over the difference between grades and assessment of learning.

Review the cards below to learn more about the difference between grading and assessment.


Types of Assessment

There are two main types of assessments: formative and summative. Watch the video below to learn more.


As you learned in the video, there are two major types of assessment: formative and summative. Fill in the blanks below to review the two types.


Click here to learn more about formative and summative assessment.

Formative Classrooms Assessment Techniques (CATs)

CATs are designed to help instructors find out what students are learning and how well they’re learning it. These are quick informal assessments to make sure that students are still engaged and learning.


Remember: Not all assessment happens on exams! Formative assessment is key.


Spend some time reviewing the “50 CATs by Angelo and Cross” document. Consider which techniques might work well in your courses.


From Angelo, T.A. and K.P. Cross. 1993 Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.



Summative Assessment Formats

Now that you’ve thought about formative assessment, let’s consider summative assessment. Summative Assessment formats are listed below.

  • Exams, Tests, and Quizzes
  • Essays or Annotated Bibliographies
  • Projects or Presentations (Individual or Group)
  • Student Reflection and Self-Assessment (Portfolio & Peer Critique)
  • Other options like oral exams, practical exams, and demonstrations



Strategies to Enable Assessment Choice

Click the titles in the accordion below to learn more about strategies to enable your assessment choice.

Purely Tactical Tips for Assessments

You might decide a selected-response assessment is the best option. Below are some tips to consider when developing this type of assessment.


Click each title in the accordion below to reveal information.


Tests and Quizzes Tips

  • Use Assessment Settings to limit time, limit number of retakes, and shuffle question and answer order
  • Use a question pool and set up a randomized question set
  • Randomize answers
  • If using questions from a publisher’s bank, change names and other key details to make searching challenging



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Promoting Instructional Excellence Copyright © by Cathleen O'Neal; Constance Harris; and Olivia Pollard is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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