Selecting and Using Activities and Assessments

What is the difference between an Activity and an Assessment?

It depends on how you use them. Every technique on this list can be used as an activity or an assessment. If the information from the technique is collected from students, reviewed by the instructor, and feedback is provided then it is considered an assessment. Typically, these assessments are not for points. If the instructor does not collect and or respond to the material then it is considered an activity.

Why should I use these techniques as Assessments?

Frequent use of Classroom Assessment Techniques:

  • Provides regular feedback about student learning, addressing difficulties and misunderstanding before heavily-weighted assessments.
  • Models learning as an ongoing and evolving process that can be modified as needed.
  • Provides students with a means of gauging their own learning practices so they can modify study strategies as appropriate.
  • Helps students feel less anonymous in large class settings since it is concrete evidence that the instructor cares about student learning.

How do I choose which one to use?

  • Begin by identifying your goal for the activity or assessment. What do you want students to be able to do? What do you want students to know about their grasp of course material?
  • Choose the technique that best fits your teaching style, the time you have available, and the number of students in your class

How do I implement these techniques?

Tips on implementation:

  • Start off simple by choosing a single technique. Once you and your students are comfortable with the technique, think about adding another.
  • Start early in the semester, ideally on the first day of class before students settle into passive learning.
  • When you do any of these techniques, explain its purpose and your goal clearly to students.
  • Ask for student feedback about these techniques early in the semester so that you can make appropriate changes.
  • If using these as assessments, report your findings to your students and let them know what you plan to do in terms of their feedback.