Diverse Assessment Methods

Engage their senses and styles

  • You may have formal summative assessments that demand a specific exam or essay
  • However, you can use diverse methods of assessment in your formative assessment
  • This will improve the self esteem of those who do not excel in traditional areas (essays, exams etc.)
  • It will improve the enjoyment of learning for all
  • It will improve a range of soft skills (communication, problem solving, teamwork etc.)
  • It will equip your learners with 'cultural capital' (Pierre Bourdieu)
  • Learners may discover new skills and interests


  • Drama improves communication skills and confidence levels
  • Role playing can improve empathy and encourage deeper thinking about people and situations
  • Learners can debate in the style of popular media talk shows
  • Learners can revise or have pop quizzes in the style of popular game shows
  • Text which has to be learned can be the subject of short plays. For example, politics or history students can use the text to enact short plays. These can be filmed and used as a revision tool


  • Small, inexpensive 'Flip' camcorders can be issued to students to film life experiences that relate to their learning so they can share these with other students
  • Presentations can be filmed and stored on VLEs or Facebook pages to show new students examples of previous students' work. Learners can also engage their wider social networks and families through this activity


  • Information can be displayed in lots of ways
  • Installations engage those students who are more practical and creative
  • They expose students to art and craft and other creative activities


  • Art and image can be used as discussion prompts
  • Photo essays
  • Gathering and displaying images to inspire thinking
  • Exposure to these forms of assessment increases learners' scope of experience and cultural capital


  • Music can be used as a discussion prompt
  • Compilations can be made around a topic e.g. human rights, war or gender
  • Timelines can include the sort of cultural products used at the time/place, including music

Academic posters

  • These can be made using Word or Powerpoint
  • They can be combined with oral presentation

Forms of communication

  • Traditional assessments are just specific forms of communication
  • Employment and social worlds use many forms of communication
  • Making assessments diverse is a way of practicing these forms of communication

Dance, music, art, websites, blogs, social network pages, games, models, film, photography……..are all just different ways of communicating ideas.

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