Assessment Tools

What are assessment tools?

Assessment tools allow instructors to evaluate their students either formatively or summatively. Formative assessment is assessment for learning, typically conducted during the learning process to track students developing understandings, identify areas of confusion and adjust teaching accordingly. Summative assessment is assessment of learning, typically conducted at the end of a learning process (i.e. a mid-term or final evaluation). Assessment tools support both of these types of assessment through online activities that track students’ performance. The focus of this page is upon course management tools specific to OWL.

What is the purpose of assessment tools?

Assessment tools are intended to support the various assessment or evaluation activities an instructor may wish to incorporate into their course or learning module. In supporting both formative and summative assessments, these tools can enable an instructor to incorporate a wide range of activities that allow students to test their knowledge, get feedback on learning, and complete course assignments/assessments.  

How to use assessment tools

In general, assessment tools enable instructors to: set up the parameters of a given assessment, allow students to complete the activity, track student performance, and provide feedback. In OWL, each assessment tool serves slightly different functionality. When choosing a tool, make sure that the tool you’ve selected adequately meets your intended goals. Some ‘best practices’ of assessment tools include:

  • Utilizing the tool’s features to provide clear and explicit instructions on the assessment to be completed
  • Sharing with students the rubric that will be used to evaluate the quality of their work. Feedback Studio, for example, has built-in functionality for developing and sharing rubrics as well as, mark students’ work using the rubric. In the Assignments Tool (OWL), documents such as a PDF rubric can be attached to assignment descriptions.
  • Provide timely, regular, and consistent feedback to students through a combination of formative and summative assessment opportunities.

Tool Comparison

Formative Assessment

Summative Assessment

Audience Response Abilities

Types of Assessments Supported

Types of Feedback Supported

Assignments Tool (OWL)

  • Essay
  • Short answer
  • File Upload
  • Grading
  • Rubric
  • Peer feedback
  • Gradebook auto-sync

Tests & Quizzes (OWL)

  • Multiple choice
  • Survey
  • Short answer
  • Fill in the blank
  • Numeric
  • Matching
  • True/False
  • Audio recording
  • File upload
  • Formulas
  • Grading
  • Instructor feedback
  • Gradebook auto-sync

Feedback Studio (Turnitin)

  • Essay
  • File Upload
  • Grading
  • Rubric
  • Instructor feedback

PeerMark (Turnitin)

  • Essay
  • File Upload
  • Peer feedback

TopHat

  • Multiple choice
  • True/False
  • Short answer
  • Numeric
  • Matching
  • Rank
  • Hotspot
  • Grading
  • Formative feedback

Plickers

  • Multiple choice
  • True/False

VoiceThread

  • Audio recording
  • Video recording
  • Short answer
  • Instructor feedback
  • Peer feedback

Gradebook (OWL)

  • Grading

All Tools

  • Assignments Tool (OWL)
  • Gradebook (OWL)
  • Tests & Quizzes (OWL)
  • Feedback Studio (Turnitin)
  • PeerMark (Turnitin)
  • Tophat
  • Plickers
  • VoiceThread