Assessment Types

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Conestoga provides students with a wide range of assessment types. This tip describes the goals for choosing evaluation types, explains how discrete assessments fall within category and component descriptions, and provides a comprehensive list of types of assessments.

Goals

A number of goals for teaching and learning are achieved when faculty understand the type of assessments they are using in their courses.

  • Ensure that students are clearly informed about the types of evaluation that will occur in each course.
  • Increase clarity over the meaning of quiz, test, and exam and other evaluation terms.
  • Ensure clarity when course is delivered by multiple faculty.
  • Encourage more variety. For example, if a course is primarily multiple choice (MC), the data collected might be triangulated with other types of evaluation measures.
  • Collect useful information for reports. This would allow us to provide evidence of the variety of evaluation type’s faculty use to measure attainment of the course outcomes and evidence that we evaluate Essential Employability Skills.

Types of Assessments

You may be familiar with specific types of assessments, such as an in-class quiz or final exam. Most discrete assessments belong to a broader category that have various components that determine that particular assessment. Here is a list of the main evaluation categories and the various components that determine different types of assessments.

  • Exams (written exam, practical exam)
  • Tests (practical exam, written test)
  • Quizzes (in class quiz, online quiz)
  • Assignments (presentation, practical, problem-based, visual, written, log book, portfolio)
  • Case study
  • Practical Assignment (tasks, code segments, labs, shop assessment, skill demos, program evaluation plan, logic model, programming code/revisions, simulations
  • Projects (capstone, keystone, projects)
  • Professionalism (external certification, external requirements, peer-assessment, professionalism, self-assessment)
  • Peer grade
  • Thesis/Dissertation

The type of exam may may be determined by whether the exam component is written or practical. For example, an exam used in hands-on skill areas may distinguish a “Practical Final Exam” from a “Final Exam.” Note that all discrete assessment types with similar components should share the same criteria.

Main Evaluation CategoryEvaluation ComponentDiscrete Item/TypeCriteria for Component
Exam(s)ExamFinal Exam
Mid-Term Exam
Oral Exam
Summative Exam
Weighted at 25-40% of grade (per exam)
Evaluated mid-semester or end of semester
Administered under supervision (not take home)
Considered high stakes for the student
Completed within a time limit
Practical ExamExams
Mid-Term Practical Exam
Final Practical Exam
Used in hands-on skill areas
Weighted at 25-40% of grade (per exam)
Evaluated mid-semester or end of semester
Administered under supervision (not take home)
Considered high stakes for the student
Completed within a time limit
Example of an assessment category and other evaluation components

Assessment Types

See below for a list of types of assessments that have been arranged by evaluation category and component descriptions. Or, download a copy to refer to.

Main
Evaluation
Category
Evaluation
Component
Discrete ItemCriteria for Component
As per policy, no one component can be weighted at more than 40%
Exam(s)ExamFinal Exam
Mid-Term Exam
Oral Exam
Summative Exam
– weighted at 25-40% of grade (per exam)
– evaluated mid-semester or end of semester
– administered under supervision (not takehome)
– considered high stakes for the student
completed within a time limit
Practical ExamExams
Mid-Term Practical Exam
Final Practical Exam
– used in hands-on skill areas
– weighted at 25-40% of grade (per exam)
– evaluated mid-semester or end of semester
– administered under supervision (not takehome)
– considered high stakes for the student
completed within a time limit
Test(s)Practical TestDemonstration Test
Practical Test
Skill-Based Test
– includes practice, skills -based tests that
may involve timed demonstrations
– weighted at 10-25% of grade (per test)
administered at any point in semester
– administered under supervision
– differs from an exam in that it usually
assesses fewer outcomes and is of less
weight
TestFinal Test
Formative Test
Mid-Term Test
Summative Test
Lab Notebook/Report Test
– weighted at 10-25% of grade (per test)
– administered at any point in semester
– administered under supervision
– differs from an exam in that it usually
assesses fewer outcomes and is of less
weight
Quiz(zes)Quiz(zes)eConestoga Quiz(zes)
In-Class Quiz(zes)
Multiple Choice Quiz(zes)
Online Quiz(zes)
Publisher’s Quiz(zes)
– weighted up to 10% of grade (per quiz)
– no pop quizzes
Assignment(s)Assignment –
Alternative
Presentation
Audio recording
Documentary
Filmed Presentation
Guided tour
Pecha kucha
Podcast
Public demonstration
Screenshot tutorial
– develops skills related to presentation skills and communication which may also
include critical thinking, problem solving,
information management and interpersonal
skills
– provides feedback on the attainment of
course outcomes
– administered at any point in the semester
Assignment In-class
Presentation
Debates
Group Presentations
Poster session
Seminar
Slideshow presentation
Student demonstration
Student-led lecture/talk
Student-led lesson
– develops skills related to presentation skills and communication which may also
include critical thinking, problem solving,
information management and interpersonal skills
– provides feedback on the attainment of
course outcomes
– administered at any point in the semester
Assignment(s)
Practical
Code Segments
Mock Interview
Programming Code
Programming Code
Revision
– develops and provides feedback on
Essential Employability Skills related to
practical skills as well as evidence of
attainment of the course outcomes.
Assignment –
Problem Based
Calculations
In-Class Task
Problem Analysis
Schedules
Spreadsheets
Timelines
– develops skills related to written tasks which may include communication, critical
thinking, problem solving and information
management
– provides feedback on the attainment of the course outcomes
– administered at any point in the semester
Assignment –
Visual
Blueprints Drawings
Comic Strip/Graphic
Narrative
Concept Map
Infographic
Photo Essay
Physical/Virtual Mode
Visual Artwork.
Visual Timeline
Web Page
– develops skills related to written tasks which may include communication, critical
thinking, problem solving and information
management
– provides feedback on the attainment of the course outcomes
– administered at any point in the semester
Assignment –
Written
Abstracts
Activity Log
Annotated Bibliographies
Blogs
Business Reports
Care Plans
Concept Maps
Court Documents
Critical Incident Accounts
Discussion Board Postings
Essay(s)
Executive Summaries
Field Reports
In-Class Tasks
Interview Reports
Journals
Lab Report(s)
Legal Memorandum
Notebook Entries
Performance Plans
Poem/Poetry Portfolio
Portfolio Tasks
Professional
Communication
/Documentation
Reflections
Reflective Journal
Report(s)
Research Paper(s)
Reviews
Technical Report(s)
Training Logs
– develops skills related to written tasks which
may include communication, critical
thinking, problem solving and information
management
– provides feedback on the attainment of the course outcomes
– administered at any point in the semester
Log BookData Table
Notes
– record of important events, measurements and data
– develops skills related to the practical
application of skills needed for the course
– provides feedback on the attainment of
course outcomes
– administered at any point in the semester
PortfolioElectronic portfolio
Paper-based Portfolio
– student-generated evidence (documents, photos, testimonials, etc.) to demonstrate progression of a specified set of learning
outcomes which may include skills that
demonstrate initiative, creativity and
organization of content
– provides feedback on the attainment of
course outcomes
– administered at any point in the semester
Required
Preparation
Tasks– tasks which are assigned then later marked or reviewed in class to provide formative assessment and feedback
Case Study(s)Case StudyCase Study Analysis
Case Study Reports
Case Study Reviews
Case Study Writing
– an analysis or detailed examination of a
subject of study including the related
contextual conditions for the study
– provides feedback on the attainment of the course outcomes
– administered at any point in the semester
Practical
Assignment(s)
Assigned Tasks– includes minimally weighted tasks (*valued at less than 10%)
– formative in nature
Code Segments– develops skills through practical application
– administered at any point in the semester
Practical Lab– a set of laboratory tasks assigned which
may be in-class or take-home
Practical Shop
Assessment(s)
– submission of a product or repair
demonstrating the course outcomes
– may include process elements
Practical Skill
Demonstration(s
)
– live or recorded evidence of the ability to
perform a skill
– examples include practicum, and clinical
demonstrations, conducting interviews,
performing counselling skills, simulations,
performing on-camera etc.
Program
Evaluation Plan
– develops skills through practical application administered at any point in the semester
Program Logic
Model
– develops skills through practical application administered at any point in the semester
Programming
Code
– develops skills through practical application administered at any point in the semester
Programming
Code Revisions
– develops skills through practical application administered at any point in the semester
Simulation– a goal-oriented evaluation involving a
practical application of the course content.
The student is immersed in a situation which imitates a real-world situation. The
assessment involves integration of higher
order thinking skills such as critical thinking, decision making, analysis, etc.
Project(s)Capstone or
Keystone
Project
Capstone
Checkpoint(s)
Critique(s)
Design Report/Reviews
Final Project Report (Group)
Final Project Report
(Individual)
Formative Feedback
Group Project
Individual Project
Interim/Midterm Report(s)
Keystone
Presentation(s)
Progress Checks
Progress Report(s)
Project Budget(s)
Project Closure
Project Definition
/Conception
Project Execution/Launch
Project Initiation
Project Monitoring &Control
Project Outline/Abstract
(Group)
Project Outline/ Abstract
(Individual)
Project Planning
Project Proposal (Group)
Project Proposal (Individual)
Project Schedule(s)
Research Reports
Time Tracking
Project(s)Checkpoint(s)
Communication plan
Final Project Presentation
(Group)
Final Project Presentation
(Individual)
Final Project Report (Group)
Final Project Report
(Individual)
Formative Feedback
Group Project
Group Project
Recommendations
Individual Project
Project Charter
Project Outline/ Abstract
(Group)
Project Outline/ Abstract
(Individual)
Project Proposal (Group)
Project Proposal (Individual)
Stakeholder analysis
Team Contract
– cumulative enterprise that is carefully
designed and planned
– may include products created over time
involving teamwork, peer-to-peer
feedback, and experiential learning
– component options may be broken down into chunks to scaffold the project over the term
ProfessionalismExternal
Certification
accreditation may require the passing of a
particular component which needs to be
listed as a required part of the course, for
example WHMIS
External
Requirement
Some programs have a dictated
attendance requirement. Attendance
should only be used in those courses.
Peer Assessment– maximum 10% of final grade
– faculty provides guidelines and training on use of the rubric, oversight, and has final say
on the mark
Professionalism– 5%-20% of final grade
– Provides feedback on the attainment of related course, program, and/or Essential
– Employability Skill (EES) outcomes (e.g., documentation, tool maintenance, support
of project team, etc.)
Self-Assessment– guided critical reflections on process, product, learning plans, and learning contracts
– faculty provides guidelines and training on use of the rubric, oversight, and has final say on the mark
Peer GradePeer Grade– maximum 10% of final grade.
– faculty provides guidelines and training on use of the rubric, oversight, and has final say
on the mark.
Thesis/
Dissertation
Abstract/ Executive Summary– long essay or dissertation involving personal research, written by a candidate for a college degree
Draft
Final Thesis/Dissertation Report
Literature Review
Presentation
References
Research
Thesis/Dissertation Presentation

Process for Choosing Assessments

When developing or revising a Course Outline, faculty can choose

  • only the main category (e.g. Assignment) or other
  • the evaluation component within a category (e.g., Assignment – Presentation) or other
  • The actual assignment type

Only the most descriptive, most specific label will be shown on the outline.

Note that no one component can be weighted at more than 40%.

It is usually wise to choose the fewest number of evaluations from which you can get the information, or the evidence needed to assess student learning against the course outcomes. Minimizing the number helps to make the delivery flexible when a course is condensed to fewer weeks. It also helps to manage the scheduling of evaluations over the semester. A typical 42-hour course may work well with 4-8 substantive (6% or greater) evaluations possibly supplemented by low stakes (5% or less) mini quizzes or tasks.

Elan Paulson

Elan Paulson, PhD, has been an educator in Ontario's higher education system since 2004. Before joining Conestoga as a Teaching and Learning Consultant, Elan was on the executive team at eCampusOntario. She previously served as Program Director and as an instructor in professional education programs at Western University's Faculty of Education. With a Master's in Educational Technology, Elan specializes in technology-enabled and collaborative learning to support diverse learners. She has also conducted research on faculty participation in communities of practice for professional learning and self-care.

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