Design inclusive assessment
1. Make sure your objectives align with your assessment.
2. Offer various types of assessment. You can do this in two ways:
- First, vary the types of assignments used in the course (instead of having students write four essays, offer an array of assignments, such as an essay, exams, quizzes, project work or other assignments).
- Second, allow students to customize or choose their assessment where appropriate.
- For instance, if there is typically an oral presentation at the end of the course but giving oral presentations is not one of your learning objectives, consider giving the option for students to demonstrate their learning in another format. The learning outcome could be demonstrated in writing, as a video or as an infographic.
- If the course has a final exam, would it be possible for students to demonstrate their learning by giving an oral presentation or by designing a poster or a podcast.
3. Give students opportunities to practice the skills they need for formal or high-stakes assessment. This is called scaffolding. Provide students with in-class activities and low-stakes, i.e. informal assessments, to progress their understanding and to identify areas in need of improvement.
- E.g. if your course entails assessment on oral presentations, make sure students have a chance to practice oral presentation skills throughout the course to help them overcome the fear of presenting in public, ensuring they are comfortable.
- Make sure you give students regular feedback so that they an accurate sense of their progress towards the learning objectives.
4. Communicate your assessment expectations to the students in the first class and keep going back to them when necessary.