Use Varied Forms of Assessments

“Effective assessment is more like a scrapbook of mementos and pictures rather than a single snapshot.”

-Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, p 152

Use more than one assessment type to provide students with different opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge. Variability in students’ cultural, linguistic, and disciplinary backgrounds affect their performance on and motivation for different assessment types. For example, what may be an easy task for a native English speaker could contain barriers for a non-native English speaker. Thus, providing varied forms of assessment helps level the playing field for all students. 

Universal Design for Learning is an educational framework to guide the design of learning aims, assessments, materials, and methods keeping a diversity of learners in mind. This approach recommends that assessments provide multiple means of engagement, action, expression, and representation for students.

Web resource: UDL and assessment (Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education)


Rather than base the final grade on quiz performance alone, the assessment plan could include writing assignments and a group project.

Before: all assessments were weekly quizzes designated by 12 blue circles. After: The assessments are varied and include weekly quizzes represented by 7 blue circles, writing assignments represented by 4 green squares, and a group project represented by 1 red diamond.