Beyond the exam: alternative assessment toolkit

In support of aims to improve their online teaching and open pedagogy approaches, educators express a need to see exemplar courses and assessment strategies and be able to access just-in-time support and resources (VanLeeuwen et al, 2020) – and this need was made even more critical during the shift to remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goal of this project was to provide educators with a comprehensive toolkit to quickly find and integrate new assessment strategies into their teaching. Building new assessment strategies requires investigation, careful consideration, and creation of guiding resources for learners, all of which can be barriers to adoption for many educators. The focus of this project was to eliminate these barriers through the provision of an ‘open online assessment exemplar bank,’ where we will not only categorize and share clear examples, resources and instructions that we have sourced and/or created, but also provide a space for participants to share back adopted or new assessment approaches that have proven successful for their learners and context.

The toolkit’s aims are to:

  • Introduce alternative online and open assessments and make a case for their use in blended and online learning.
  • Curate high-quality resources and develop tailored content to fill existing gaps.
  • Offer specific assessment ideas and case studies drawn from a wide range of scholarly disciplines and class sizes.
  • Supply boilerplate text to be used or adapted such as assessment instructions, responses to common questions and rubrics.
  • A facilitation guide to help educators make an informed decision about featured assessment strategies, and assist them in implementing them in their teaching.
  • Provide assessment models that involve students and represent diverse perspectives and lived experiences - including international students (both on-campus and abroad) and underrepresented or marginalized students.
  • Enable sharing and building of a bank of community exemplars

Technologies including PressBooks/WordPress, H5P, and other open source tools were used in not only creating/hosting content but also in modeling how these technologies can be used in building online assessments. The toolkit was developed in Pressbook and leverages the plugins available including accessible H5P content interaction types. A key component of this toolkit is a section built to enable instructors across the spectrum to contribute exemplars, resources, and strategies they have employed.

This session will provide an overview of the collaborative, multi-institutional approach taken to build this resource, sharing of the exemplars and facilitation guide, as well as invite others to contribute to this growing resource of open, online assessments.

VanLeeuwen, C.A., Veletsianos, G., Belikov, O. Johnson, N. (2020). Institutional perspectives on faculty development for digital education in Canada. The Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 46(2), 1-20. Institutional Perspectives on Faculty Development for Digital Education in Canada | Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology


:eye_in_speech_bubble: Presented by:: Joanne Kehoe
:sun: Conference Track: Thematic Session: Frontier Technologies
:spiral_calendar: Track Date/Time: 2022-05-24T09:00:00Z (your local time)
:speech_balloon: Language: English
:calling: Pretalx link: Beyond the exam: alternative assessment toolkit :: Open Education Global 2022 :: pretalx

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Authors are asked to reply below with links to presentation materials, videos, and other relevant resources, as well as posting prompts for discussion.

Conference participants can reply below with questions, comments for the presenters or to share related resources. And please add anything relevant from this session as an annotation to a specific part of the UNESCO OER Recommendation.

Greetings all OE Global 2022 participants here in Nantes and beyond! You’ll find the slides for this session here and also a link to the project web page with a request to please consider adding your assessment exemplars - or reach out to me at

1 Like

Great session @jo_kehoe. Thank you for the thoughtful discussion and great examples of how alternative assessments (projects, portfolios, co-teaching) are much better learning experiences for students than the traditional exam.

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Thank you @unatdaly - we hope to see these examples used broadly so more students can benefit.