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Assessment Principles and Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Principles of Learning Assessment for All Modalities

Figure explained in text below

Framework for Learning Assessment – Based on UDL, Best Practices in Assessment, and Quality Matters

Learning Assessment principles are grounded in teaching and learning theories, in addition they rely on a purposeful action to create community, engagement, and authenticity.

Core Values of Assessment

In the online and traditional spaces, assessments are:

  1. Engaging: Assessments allow students to engage in the evaluation process in multiple ways.
  2. Learner-Centered: Assessments are designed to meet students where they are in technology skills, learning preferences, and special needs. Assessments are based in constructivist approaches to learning.
  3. Authentic: Assessments are grounded in actual contexts and linked to valid tasks.
  4. Meaningful: Assessments are inquiry-based, involve problem solving, go beyond assessing items on a test to incorporate skills students need for lifelong learning.
  5. Assessing True Learning:
    1. Align to Learning Outcomes
    2. Use rubrics to assess learning
    3. Assess at multiple stages of learning to acquire multiple measures of student growth

Assessment Delivery

For assessments to be true to student learning outcomes, they need to rely on multiple methods of assessments, such as diagnostic, formative, and summative. To that end, faculty need to assess prior to instruction as a diagnostic tool, during instruction as a formative tool to assess learning acquisition and use assessment as a guide for learning, and finally summative assessment to measure attained learning against stated program and course learning objectives.

Assessments Use:

  1. Multiple Measures: Assessments measure the learning objectives multiple times to gauge learning and student growth.
  2. Multiple Actions: Assessments allow students to demonstrate what they have learned by assessing the same outcomes in multiple ways, such as presentations, projects, knowledge checks, etc.
  3. Multiple Representations: If at all possible, assessments are provided to the students in different formats as possible options, to meet specific student needs and situations.



Conrad, D, & Openo, J. (2018). Assessment strategies for online learning: Engagement and authenticity. Athabasca, Canada: AU Press.

Quality Matters (QM). (2018). Course Development Rubric for Higher Education (6th edition).


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