Authentic and alternative assessments can be well supported in the online environment with thorough consideration and planning in place. Providing students with options for completion that are reflected in submission requirements for meaningful demonstration of learning, and clear guidelines for success, will engage students in assessments that are relevant to their understanding outside of the educational environment. When students see the value of an assessment for applying their learning to their professional goals, and understand how to complete that assessment well, levels of performance and individual connection will increase.


Key Takeaways

  • Student opinion highlights the need for authentic and alternative online assessment practices coupled with effective and timely feedback.
  • Barrier-free assessment design that follows accessibility guidelines, Universal Design for Learning practices, and inclusion strategies allows all students to successfully demonstrate their learning.
  • Well-crafted rubrics, checklists, and rating scales communicate expected standards of performance to students and enable consistent evaluations.
  • Constructive feedback, reflective self-assessment, and peer review are powerful tools to help students achieve their learning goals.

Explore Icon

Explore Further

CAST (2020). UDL Tips for Assessment. Wakefield, MA: Author. [PDF]

College Libraries Ontario. (n.d.). Faculty Toolkit: AODA Resources. The Learning Portal.

McGill University. (2020, July 27). Peer Assessment (PA). Teaching and Learning Services (TLS).

Preston, J. P. & Claypool, T.R. (2021). Analyzing Assessment Practices for Indigenous Students. Frontiers in Education. Vol 6.

Steinhauer, E., Cardinal, T., Higgins, M., Madden, B., Steinhauer, N., Steinhauer, P., Underwood, M., Wolfe, A., & Cardinal, B. (2020). Thinking with Kihkipiw: Exploring an Indigenous Theory of Assessment and Evaluation for Teacher Education. In S. Cote-Meek, & T. Moeke-Pickering (Eds.), Decolonizing and Indigenizing Education in Canada (pp. 73-90). Canadian Scholars.

Vowel, C. (2016). Indigenous writes: A guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit issues in Canada. Highwater Press.

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Cornell University. (2021). Peer assessment. Center for Teaching Innovation.

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Lombardi, M. M. (2008, January). Making the grade: The role of assessment in authentic learning. Educause Learning Initiative (ELI) Paper 1. [PDF]

McGill University. (2020, July 27). Peer Assessment (PA). Teaching and Learning Services (TLS).

Methot, S. (2021, January 4). A Trauma-Informed Approach to Teaching the Colonization of the Americas. Edutopia.

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University College London. (2021, February 2). Designing effective online assessment. Teaching & Learning.

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Rethinking Assessment Strategies for Online Learning Copyright © 2022 by Seneca College; Durham College; Algonquin College; and University of Ottawa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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