Assessment of Learning

As you begin more detailed "construction" of your unit of learning and begin the "rough-in" work on your selected prototype learning activity, don't forget to include some strategies and activities to help your learners understand their progress.

Although your unit of learning may not require a "grade", there should be assessment points built into your plan to enable learners to measure their progress, to receive constructive feedback about how to improve (from the instructor and/or peers) and to understand any final summative assessments.

Try to provide some variety in methods for assessing learning. Don't rely too heavily on multiple choice quizzes; provide some room for creativity in the ways that participants can demonstrate their learning. Plan for structured methods of assessing learning that are visible, logical, achievable and clearly communicated.

The principles of constructive alignment referred to earlier in this workshop can be applied to ensure that learners and the instructor are "looking at the same blueprint for learning." Assessments should be framed in the context of achieving the stated learning outcomes and in meeting the overall expectations of participation in your unit of learning.

"Authentic assessment" is a term that reflects the emphasis on engaging students by focusing on learning that is meaningful beyond the context of your course. As often as possible, your learning activities should reflect "real-life scenarios" and your assessments be linked to any external standards or guidelines your learner may encounter after they complete your module.

Finally, studies have shown that a critical factor in student success in learning is timely, frequent, meaningful feedback with a developmental or "feedforward" focus (see Feedback | Feedforward outliner for further resources on feedback/forward). Helping learners recognize that assessments are part of an ongoing process within the time frame of the course creates a more positive perspective and encourages them to try to improve.


Marion, Dr. Robin.D. (2007) Choosing appropriate assessments, a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License., retrieved from

Riessner, Sylvia (2014) Feedback | Feedforward, Diigo Outliner collection, Retrieved from