Making Assessment Innovative

Not all forms of assessment need to be graded, and not all of it has to be “serious work.” Methods used for assessing student progress can be innovative and fun, something that even the learner can look forward to. Here are some creative assessment methods that can be employed in the classroom:

  1. Concept maps: Concept maps are visual diagrams, similar to flow charts which connect different concepts that are related to each other under the larger topic. It represents the relationships between concepts and ideas.

  1. 3-2-1 Countdown: A student is handed out a card to write on/is asked to orally respond to the following statements regarding the concept they have learned:

  • 3 things regarding the concept they didn’t know before this session.

  • 2 things surprising things about the concept.

  • 1 thing they can/want to start doing with what they have learned.

  1. One-minute papers: At the end of the session/the day, the student can be asked to quickly respond to questions based on an interesting concept, surprising moments, ideas for further discussions, etc. These can be restricted to short responses, one that can be ideally completed within a minute or two.

  1. Podcasts and Vlogs: The student is asked to explain what they have learnt and communicate it to an audience. This can be done in collaboration with other students. This process helps build connections and lets the learner get used to professional writing/communication.

  1. 3-way summaries: The learner is asked to summarise what they have learnt/ what they gained via learning the concept by asking them to summarise the same within three different word limits: 10-15 words long, 30-50 words, 70-100 words, or a limit that the instructor finds suitable.

  1. Performance:  The student can be asked to perform as a character related to the topic they are learning. It could also be a group activity where a skit could be performed based on the topic the class is learning. For Eg. A group of students could be assigned to enact a play on how Newton came about the concept of Gravity.

  1. Think-Pair-Share: Students are asked to write down their answers to a particular question. Following this, they are paired up with their classmates, and the pair discusses the answers.

  1. Peer to peer evaluation: The students are asked to write down their answers to the questions they are posed with. The papers of all students are collected and randomly distributed among the class, and the peers correct each other’s papers.

  1. Group-discussion: The instructor can ask the students to read up on a particular topic for their next session. The session will be a discussion among students themselves based on what they have learnt, while the teacher guides the direction of the discussion and facilitates the flow of information.

  2. Portfolios: Portfolios are basically a space (Online or physical files) where a student stores all their productions – whatever they have written, images taken, diagrams drawn, and an account of the activities they have done. Refection (on what they have done) is an important part of portfolios. It helps the students make connections of what they have learnt and how they have grown through the duration of their course. It also lets the instructors have a good idea of what the student has done as part of their course work.

Thus, different methods of assessment can be used to gauge the understanding of the student, and using innovative assessment methods will be a fun exercise for the students as well.

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