Classroom Techniques

Classroom Assessment Techniques

As described by Angelo and Cross (1993), classroom assessment techniques are quick, simple, formative assessments that faculty can use to collect feedback to examine how well students are learning course material.  Classroom assessment techniques serve the dual purpose of enhancing teaching effectiveness while improving student understanding.  Ideally, both teachers and students will use the feedback from classroom assessment techniques to improve their performance.  Teachers can adjust their teaching in light of student feedback and performance, while students can use feedback to measure and modify their understanding of important concepts.

Effective classroom assessment techniques are:

  • Learner-Centered - Learner-centered techniques focus on strategies and approaches to improve learning.

  • Teacher-Directed - Quality teacher-directed assessments allow the individual instructor freedom to determine content, measurement, use of feedback, and communication of information.

  • Mutually Beneficial - Both teachers and students should benefit from the knowledge gained through classroom assessment techniques.  Students can use the feedback to correct or solidify their understanding of course material and instructors can use the feedback to measure how well instructional strategies are working.

  • Formative - Since the goal is to improve learning not measure outcomes, classroom assessment techniques may not be graded or hold very little graded weight.

  • Context-Specific - Effective classroom assessment techniques are uniquely designed to meet the specific needs of each instructor, population, or content area.

  • Ongoing - Assessment should be a continuous cycle of adjusting, measuring, providing feedback, and adjusting again.

  • Rooted in Good Teaching Practice - Classroom assessment techniques are one step in an overall approach to teaching and learning.  Classroom assessments provide a means by which assessment can be integrated within the instructional process.

Specific Classroom Assessment Techniques—Assessment of Prior Knowledge, Recall, and Understanding

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Assessing skill in Analysis and Critical Thinking

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Assessing Skill in Synthesis and Creative Writing

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Assessing Skill in Problem Solving

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Assessing Skill in Application and Performance

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Resource Links:

Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence (Pennsylvania State University)


Angelo, T. A., & Cross, K. P. (1993). Classroom assessment techniques: A handbook for college teachers. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.


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