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Effective Assessment Practices


Effective assessment practices are regarded as the key to the effective educational principles. It is claimed that assessment principles are needed for adequate evaluation of students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities that are required for further educational process, or passing the final exam. Techniques that will be assessed in the paper are Objective Structured Clinical Examination, Written Assignments and Rubrics, and Teacher-Created Tests. These are used for an unbiased and all round assessment of students’ skills and knowledge, hence, assessment criteria will be regarded as the universal scale for assessment practices.

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Assessment Criteria

First, it should be emphasized that regardless of the assessment principle, the results of the assessment are highly dependent on three objective parameters for evaluating KSAs. These are unambiguous expectations, authentic tasks and opportunity of choice that students value the most. As it is stated by (Black, 2006), the results of the assessment were higher, if the tasks and the assessment in general corresponded to the stated criteria. Hence, unambiguous expectations means that students need to know the aims and value of the subject. If the usefulness is clear, the successes of the students are higher. Authentic tasks is closely related with the previous character, as students mainly expect real tasks that may be applied to the real life. This signifies the usefulness of the subject studied. Choice and flexibility of the educational as well as assessment processes develops the flexibility of reasoning, especially if several solution ways are offered or available.

Objective Structured Clinical Examination

This assessment strategy is featured with a limited application sphere, as it is acceptable only for health sciences. The environment of the test is close to the real medical conditions, when a patient-actor is examined by a student. Examination is divide into stations that last up to 15 minutes. Candidates rotate through the stations and examine patients, or provide necessary help for them.

The assessment criteria of the examination involves at least three marks: “Done” “Not done correctly” and “Omitted”. These criteria helps to define whether a student have the necessary skills and knowledge or not. Actually, there is no need in intermediate assessment criteria as health subjects presuppose that a patient is either healthy / cured / alive or not.

In general, this type of assessment encourages effective learning approaches as well as motivates students to learn, as the patients-actors are perceived like real people, and treatment mistake may cause serious consequences. The learning outcomes are assessed reliably, and in accordance with the higher-order learning principles, this assessment technique presupposes precise and reliable assessment of the students. As for the academic standards of grading, OSCE is far from proper academic assessment, though, there is no necessity in multi-graded assessment scale.

Written Assignments and Rubrics

The common weakness of any assessment principle is the possibility of subjective assessment of the student’s work. Written assignments and rubrics are aimed to struggle this problem, as some of these assignments presuppose that tutors do not know the author of the work, and are not able to treat a work subjectively. Moreover, the rubric may be regarded as the common assessment criteria for the entire group of students. The rubric is aimed at describing detailed requirements of the examination or written assignment in order to meet the specific performance requirements (Tepper, 2004). Hence, students have the detailed and clear rules for accomplishing any assignment. Additionally, rubrics are often used for constructing papers, hence, any aspect of subjectivity is undermined. As it is stated by Choy (2007, p. 165): “When designing the rubric, faculty should list evaluation criteria and define the expected quality by numerically rating stellar performance and unacceptable levels of performance”. However, it should be emphasized that in order the technique was maximally efficient, the assessment should consider the opportunity of learning focused activity principle. This means that rubric assignments should be supported by practical training of the knowledge gained.

Teacher-Created Tests

As it is stated in Black (2006), teacher centered tests are regarded as a very subjective assessment method, as personal contact may presuppose prejudice in teacher-student contact, personal enmity or difference of opinions on the matters of scientific theories and concepts which may cause an aggravation of personal relations. Hence, written tests eliminate an opportunity of subjective treatment, as even if a tutor knows the author of the paper, there is no opportunity to treat him/her subjectively, as the given set of answers will help to define whether a student knows the subject, or not. Written tests are aimed at checking the theoretic basis of students’ knowledge, as the opportunities of teacher-created tests are essentially restricted by thee written nature of the reply. On the other hand, these tests may be helpful for defining the opportunity to structure the information, and create logical sequence of the text.

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The assessment techniques may be either effective or ineffective, however, the key efficiency factor is closely linked with the objectivity of assessment, as well as the sphere of assessment application.

Reference List

Black, P. J. (2006). Testing, Friend or Foe? The Theory and Practice of Assessment and Testing. London: Falmer Press.

Choy, S. (2007). Understanding Assessment and Qualifications in Post-Compulsory Education and Training. Principles, Politics and Practice. Australian Educational Researcher, 34(3), 165

Tepper, N. C. (2004). Supportive Practices in Teacher Education: Finding out What Pre-Service Teachers Know about Teaching, Learning, and Community, through Purposeful and Creative Assessment. Education, 125(2), 236

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