Assessment plays a vital role in any quality curricular design. Linda Suskie (2009) provides a concise description of the assessment process when she notes that “Assessment is the ongoing process of

  1. establishing clear, measurable expected outcomes of student learning;
  2. ensuring that students have sufficient opportunities to achieve those outcomes;
  3. systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting, evidence to determine how well student learning matches our expectations; and
  4. using the resulting information to understand and improve student learning” (p. 4).

Authentic assessment strategies include activities and tools to allow us to see direct evidence of student learning. These strategies give instructors access to “tangible, visible, self-explanatory, and compelling evidence of exactly what students have and have not learned” (Suskie, p. 20). Using activities and projects in courses, such as ePortfolios, student reflective projects, case-based studies and capstone experiences -- to name just a few -- allow for a higher engagement from students, higher quality evidence of learning for instructors, and clearer, better assessment data for administration.

Learning Experience Design provides consultation and design services for identifying quality assessment strategies and the technologies needed to support those efforts. We provide faculty consultation on the use of ePortfolios and other authentic assessment strategies, as well as tests and quizzes, reflective writing, project-based learning and others. If you are looking for a way to engage your students in learning and make that learning visible so that you can assess it, contact Marc Zaldivar (marcz@vt.edu).

ePortfolio Contact: