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Classroom assessment techniques

We are familiar with traditional assessment techniques – those used to evaluate a student’s knowledge and assign a grade.  Unfortunately, if this is the only time we check for students’ understanding, we may realize too late that they haven’t learned what we think we’ve taught them. 

Classroom assessment techniques are short, in-class formative assessment techniques used to determine what students know (or don’t know).  Most often, they are not used to assign grades, but rather as a gauge of teaching and learning.  You can create your own classroom assessment technique, or use one created by Angelo and Cross (1993). 

Classroom assessment techniques also give us the opportunity to change our teaching in order to better meet our learning goals.  For example, if the classroom assessment technique indicates most of the class did not understand a topic, you have the opportunity to adjust your classroom activities accordingly.  You may want to repeat the highpoints of a lecture, post a question for on-line discussion, add homework, or change a laboratory activity. You will then want to consider, pro-actively, what you could do in upcoming classes to ensure understanding.  

How do I choose a pre-made classroom assessment technique?

The CTE has streamlined the process of choosing from the most well-known classroom assessment techniques. Visit this website.

Want to know more?

  • Angelo, T. & Cross, K.P. (1993) Classroom Assessment Techniques.  John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; San Francisco, CA.


Virginia Commonwealth University  |  Center for Teaching Excellence
Last updated: 06/20/2013
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