Assessment Tool Examples

Multiple Choice Exams

Many faculty and most standardized tests use the multiple choice format for assessments.
The Educational Testing Service uses this for CLEP (College Level Examination Program) and College Level Field Tests etc

There are discipline specific standardized multiple choice tests for college credit such as chemistry tests supplied by ETS

In addition many of the entrance or placement tests are multiple choice.

Licensing Exams

There are licensing exams required for numerous professional licenses. For this reason it is appropriate to have assessments simulating these types of exams in a course.

NCLEX (nursing)

X-Ray Board Exams

ASE Automotive Service Excellence Exam

CNA - Certified Nursing Assistant

EMT - Emergency Medical Technician

Standardized Cognitive Tests

GRE, SAT, LSAT, MCAT, Miller's Analogies, Stanford-Binet etc



A checklist basically determines whether a criterion is present or not, in contrast
to how well or at what performance level. Checklists are good for simple psychomotor skills or low level recall.


Hand washing Checklist

Adjusted to appropriate water temperature


Hands wetted


Soap applied


Lather worked-up


Applied cleansing friction of at least 20 seconds


Applied friction between fingers


Applied friction on back of hands


Used fingernail brush for nail beds


Rinsed off all soap


Dried appropriately



Other sample checklists are linked below
Web content checklist (scroll down)

Web accessibility

Web page evaluation

Study Skill Checklist

Skills Checklist for immunizations with values included

Case Study & Problem Solving

Case studies use an "in situ" approach to simulate real life situations and problems. The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science is a good example of pre-packaged assessments and assignments that can be adapted in a variety of courses

Also checkout Engineering case studies

and ethics case studies


Problem Solving uses the same approach but may leave more developmental problem solving to the student. For instance, the student must develop the experiment or tests to obtain data. Rice University has a great collection of these.

University of Delaware has sample problems

Samford University has a website describing PBL - Problem based learning

SDSU has a site on assessing problem based learning

Team Projects

This is another term for collaborative projects, either within the course, in conjunction with other courses, or with community partners. It uses collaborative learning to assess multiple levels of understanding and application. Many of the assessments above can be conducted in teams or collaboratively. There is, however, a difference between collaborative and cooperative.

Flowchart or Diagram

A flowchart is a visual or graphic illustration of a process or system used to solve a problem or produce a product. Cognitive researchers have said that placing information in a flowchart or diagram represents one of the highest levels of cognitive achievement requiring analysis and synthesis of many concepts. Flowcharts are excellent ways to communicate the logic involved in a system; students must recall the appropriate information and associated content but must also analyze how the components fit with the entire system or process. Flow charts allow students the opportunity to gain confidence in their ability to describe the entire system or process. Follow-up case study questions concerning the system or process, involving potential problems or adaptations, allow the students to use the flowchart to evaluate system changes.

Directions for this type of assessment must be very specific.

  1. Describe a process using a flowchart or diagram. A flowchart is a visual or graphic illustration of a process or system used to solve a problem or produce a product.
  2. Chart the process the way it really occurs.
  3. Prepare a single lined title for the flowchart or diagram that adequately describes the process being described.
  4. Begin with an event that initiates the process.
  5. Record each succeeding action or reaction clearly identifying its relationship to the process.
  6. Use standard symbols for reoccurrences
  7. If multiple stimulators or multiple consequences occur, try to include these.
  8. Make notes or reference anything that needs explanation and any assumptions that are not evident.
  9. Determine and end point or whether the process is cyclic and draw it in this way.
  10. Run through the flowchart to be sure you have not left anything out and that it flows in the way you have drawn it.

W.E. Deming, the quality guru is reported to have said, ""Draw a flowchart for whatever you do. Until you do, you do not know what you are doing, you just have a job." In the same way we might tell our students to draw a flow chart, until they do they have only memorized factoids.


Portfolios are a collection of student artifacts over a period of time.

Sample of a digital portfolio for students

Numerous samples of portfolios for student grading are found at


A capstone is defined as a culminating event or crowning achievement. Capstone Courses or Projects are high stakes courses or projects integrating multidisciplinary education with a problem or course. These are usually a requirement for transferring or graduating students. Capstones are good opportunities to evaluate programs.

Example of capstone projects in General Education

Capstone Course in Education

Sample Capstone Projects

Reflective Self-Assessment Essay

These types of essays ask the students to assess their own growth and development using evidence to support their conclusions.

An example of this kind of essay is given below. This essay is from a multidisciplinary capstone class in Advanced Composition and Critical Thinking taught by four instructors at Bakersfield College. The assignment is

Topic:  Discuss your development as a writer this semester.

Audience:         All four instructors

Due Date:         16 May 2002 at the beginning of class

Points:              100

Format:            MLA format


Prewriting Process:


  1. Carefully reread all of your writing assignments for this class.


  1. Choose the one you feel is the strongest.  List the reasons.


  1. Choose the one you feel is the weakest.  List the reasons.


  1. Characterize yourself as a writer and as a thinker, referring to any work you have done for this class.


  1. Which parts of the class were most helpful?  Why?  Which parts need to be improved?  Why? 


Using your answers to questions 2-4 as a basis for your essay, discuss your development as a writer this semester.  Answer question 5 on separate page(s).


In addition to your final essay, turn in the following:

Initial Baseline Essay paper

Strongest paper

Weakest paper

Answers to the Prewriting Process questions (2-5). 

 Used with Permission from Kate Pluta Bakersfield College

Satisfaction or Perception Surveys

There are numerous commercial standardized assessments available to gather data on student, faculty, staff, employer, and community satisfaction or perceptions. Examples are the

CCSSE and NSSE on student engagement

Noel-Levitz SSI (Student Satisfaction Inventory)

CSEQ College Student Experiences Questionnaire

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