OPS can assist Syracuse University faculty in designing and implementing student assessment at the course level as well as with data collection and analysis to inform future course and assignment design.

We meet with faculty to discuss desired learning goals and the development of questions for investigation, resulting in a recommended assessment plan, data gathering and analysis, and discussion about how to incorporate findings from the data into teaching practice and design.

Formative Classroom Assessments:

These are short, typically ungraded ways to check student comprehension and gain feedback on the effectiveness of your classroom instruction. For instance, when you ask students to give a show of hands in response to a question in class, you are conducting a simple classroom assessment of their current understanding of the concept you are about to address. Similarly, designing short surveys, administering one minute papers, and asking students to develop concept maps or share a pro/con grid on the topic they are most confused about can help faculty gauge students’ knowledge, skill, and attitude levels at any given point during the semester.


Students can achieve any target that is clearly defined. Rubrics help faculty communicate expectations for assignments and provide focused feedback on works in progress as well as grade final projects. Rubrics are often used for grading, but they can also teach. When used as part of a formative, student-centered approach to assessment, rubrics have the potential to help students develop understanding and skills, and make dependable judgments about the quality of their own work. We help faculty conceptualize, develop, and implement sound rubrics to enhance student learning.

Summative Classroom Assessments:

The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit or course. Summative assessments are often high stakes, which means they have a high point value like a mid-term exam, final project, final paper, or cumulative exam.