Once you have clearly articulated learning goals for your course, you will need to figure out how to measure students’ progress toward those goals.
The word "assessments" seems to conjure up images of pointless administrative exercises for some teachers, but what we're actually talking about is you figuring out whether your students are learning what you want them to learn. Assessment in this sense is not imposed from without; instead, it's your personally-designed method of making sure your students are getting what you want them to get from the class.
In addition to giving students explicit feedback, assessment activities also offer faculty the opportunity to evaluate the success of their course design and adapt as needed.
There are many ways to gather and analyze evidence of student learning. Georgetown’s Assessment Portal offers a framework of guiding questions to help you develop an iterative plan for course-level assessment, from initial development of learning goals to mid-semester evaluation methods to post-course analysis, reflection, and redesign.
Assessments don't necessarily have to involve grades. However, if it's relevant, you can explore a fuller discussion of the grading process on our Grading page.
Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to have a conversation with someone at CNDLS about these or other teaching issues.