Assessment in the context of higher education learning experiences is the process of using evidence to determine how well students are achieving established learning outcomes. There are two major forms: (1) formative assessment and (2) summative assessment.

Formative assessment takes place during a course, program, or other learning experience. Examples of formative assessments in college courses include graded homework, quizzes, and midterm exams. Students and faculty can use the insight gained from formative assessments to try to improve learning before the learning experience ends. A student who performs calculations poorly on a midterm, for example, can use that insight to decide to spend more time practicing calculations before the final exam. A faculty member who sees students using terminology incorrectly in an early assignment can modify ...

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