Module 3: Assessment Strategies for a Virtual Environment

Developing a High-Quality Assessment Strategy

The purpose of this section is to demonstrate how to apply the concepts from earlier in this module towards the development of a high-quality online assessment strategy. Such a strategy helps us ensure that all students have an equal chance to meet achievement standards articulated by course learning outcomes.

A high-quality online assessment strategy incorporates principles of equity and inclusion and fosters student success in real-world contexts. It also takes into account two other key elements of assessment design:

  • specific and measurable course learning outcomes
  • assessment criteria identified by performance standards and measured through rubrics
Illustration of process of assessing learning outcomes. Description to follow in captions.
Caption: The Assessing Learning Outcomes process includes Course Learning Outcomes, Assessment Strategy and Assessment Criteria. “Course Learning Outcomes” is at the top with arrows leading down to “Assessment Strategy” on the bottom left and “Assessment Criteria” on the bottom right. There is a double-headed arrow between “Assessment Strategy” and “Assessment Criteria.” Source: “Assessing Learning Outcomes” by Seneca College, The Teaching & Learning Centre, CC BY-NC-SA

The Cycle of Assessment: Process and Product

At the course level, an assessment strategy enables us to build a rich and meaningful assessment cycle that honours learning as a process. As students progress towards a final deliverable (where they will demonstrate their learning through summative assessment), students’ skill development is supported through low-stakes formative assessments while they receive ongoing feedback and reflect on their progress as they go through the course.

Developing a High-Quality Assessment Strategy: Considerations

In addition to needing clear learning outcomes and clear assessment criteria, a high-quality assessment strategy can be developed with the following considerations in mind[1]:

Select a topic below, marked with an arrowhead, to reveal more information.

Inclusion and Belonging
Cultural Responsiveness
Multiple Modalities
Feed “Forward”
Learner Reflection


Brainstorm an Assessment Strategy.

In the interactive element below, use the menu bar (☰) on the left or the arrows on the right to view the contents on all pages (2).

Key Takeaways

A high-quality assessment strategy improves student learning when you balance a variety of low-stakes formative assessments with summative assessments that are authentic, culturally inclusive and promote digital fluency. Assessments support learning most effectively when they reliably measure student achievement by aligning with course learning outcomes, allowing for self-assessment and providing meaningful feedback that allows students to reflect on their progress through the course.

  1. Assessment. (2020). Seneca College The Teaching & Learning Centre. Retrieved December 15, 2021, from


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Designing and Developing High-Quality Student-Centred Online/Hybrid Learning Experiences by Seneca College; Humber College; Kenjgewin Teg; Trent University; and Nipissing University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book