Assessing Learning

Assessment is a vital component of teaching and learning. In both formative (feedback) and summative (final grade) forms, assessment activities are closely tied to learning objectives and, therefore, need to be considered early in the course design process. At A&S Learning Design & Technology we support faculty in all areas of assessment, from exploration of innovative assessment activities to management of tests and quizzes in UVACollab, to giving effective feedback on student discussions and presentations. We also work with faculty at the course- and curriculum-level in the development of assessments appropriate to their course goals. 

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Giving Feedback

Students should receive frequent, discriminating, and supportive feedback on their learning progress from multiple sources.

Assessment with ePortfolios

The most common way of using ePortfolios in any course is as a tool for student self-assessment. The main goal is for students to look back at what they have accomplished that semester and, in an evidence-based way, discuss the assessment of their own work.   

Tips for Learning Assessment

Assessing your students is important for both measuring and increasing student learning. The following tips can help you develop effective assessments for your course.

Formative Assessments

Formative assessments are low-stakes activities (either ungraded or lightly graded) that allow the instructor to check students’ learning. These assessments also allow students to monitor their own learning and identify areas that may need improvement. Formative assessments can profoundly improve student outcomes when instructors use them correctly.

Summative Assessments

Summative assessments occur at the end of a block of material and allow the instructor to analyze the learning that occurred. These assessments are generally graded and they should align with the course learning objectives.