TPS Touchpoint: Assessment

This month’s highlighted results from the Teaching Practices Survey (TPS) focus on assessment 


  • 40% of respondents provide feedback to students at multiple points in the course. 
  • 30% of respondents have a required component of their course for students to redo/revise work based on instructor or TA feedback before resubmitting for a grade or to improve a grade; another 24% have this as an optional component.  
  • 21% of respondents have a required component of their course for students to regularly complete an assessment of their understanding before class meetings; another 21% have this as an optional component.  
  • 67% of respondents provide flexibility and options in assessment approaches to address the needs of a diverse student body.    

The first three items above illustrate ways in which instructors are employing formative assessment practices, i.e. assessment for learning. Formative assessment provides students with the opportunity to identify and address gaps in understanding, which contributes to better outcomes when their knowledge and skills are subsequently evaluated via summative assessments. Instructors also benefit by gaining insights into the areas where students may benefit from clarification or further practice. The last item hints at alternative or authentic assessments, which are designed for learners to demonstrate their knowledge and execute tasks in unique and innovative ways. For examples and considerations related to formative and alternative assessment, refer to the assessment resources on our website 

For a comprehensive review of your assessments in the context of your course, consider participating in the Course (re)Design Intensive, a week-long workshop that applies a step-by-step backward-design process to ensure that assessments and activities are aligned with learning outcomes and instructional goals.  

You may also opt to schedule a consultation with an educational consultant for input on revising or designing new assessments for a course.  

Last but not least, if you are interested in exploring digital assessments, then join your colleagues in sharing ideas as part of the Community of Practice, Leveraging Digital Assessment Techniques for Enhanced Learning.