Best Practices for Inclusive Assessment

students in class

It’s important to assess how students have grown and mastered our course materials during the semester, and to do so in ways that don’t inadvertently disadvantage some students compared to others. On October 26, a group of new and experienced faculty came together in an event sponsored by the Office of Faculty Advancement to discuss and learn from each other on the topic of inclusive assessment. Some of their ideas are summarized below.

Welcoming course design

Overall assessment design

Assessment content

  • Avoid references in your assessment questions which would be unclear or unknown to students of different cultures. (See examples of questions that might be biased against international students, first generation college students and students from less wealthy backgrounds.) Avoid complex vocabulary unless you are testing vocabulary.
  • Provide explicit practice with the types of assessment questions you plan to use prior to the graded assessment.
  • Ensure that the content of the assessments is a true reflection of the key topics and skills you have taught in the class and is directly targeted at the student learning outcomes for the course or module.

Assessment methods

General resources

If you’d like a consultation about your assessment plan or course design, please contact Learning Innovation.

Amy Kenyon

Author: Amy Kenyon

Amy plans, implements and assesses faculty development programs for the improvement of teaching and learning, provides programs and resources designed to increase understanding of the teaching and learning process and manages personnel and other resources in the Teaching Innovation group of Learning Innovation. Her interests are in student-centered course and program design, curriculum mapping, assessment and engaging teaching strategies for student learning.