Evaluation is a general term signaling that an assignment or assessment (quiz, exam) is designed to address whether students are demonstrating progress toward achieving the learning objectives of the course, and that the instructional team is providing students with useful information on how well they are doing.  Grading is the most obvious method of evaluation. However, feedback is another method of evaluation which can specifically target strength(s) and weakness(es).

This document is a living resource that guides faculty and academic units in best practices in the evaluation of student performance and attainment of the learning objectives of the course, with an emphasis on undergraduate classes. Evaluation of student learning is a fundamental part of teaching. Instructors can spend a great deal of time scheduling and grading assignments, exams and other assessment tools. Those schedules can be rigid and not adaptable to unforeseen circumstances, from problems experienced by individual students to something affecting the entire class.  This document provides guidance for establishing a suite of evaluations of student learning that are robust to unforeseen circumstances.

Note that a syllabus usually sets the social contract between the instructional team and the students by providing clarity of expectations regarding assignment and exam timing. Therefore, changing those evaluations within the quarter of teaching could be seen as breaking that contract. Nevertheless, we encourage all instructors to read through this document and assess the degree to which they can change their evaluation strategy to conform more closely to these best practices, even if the syllabus and Canvas page are already published. Whether the course is currently being taught, or an instructor is considering changes to a future offering, taking the time to speak to the students about any changes, including how those changes would help the students achieve course learning goals, is strongly advised.