Assessment & Evaluation: Alternative Assessment


This guide shares how alternative assessments can be supplemental or replacement options for evaluating learning beyond traditional in-person exams. The options require learners to showcase learning through engaging higher-order thinking. Learners demonstrate understanding through diverse, meaningful, and comprehensive approaches. 



Inclusive Practices

  • Learners are recommended to contact the Moses Center for accommodation requests. A Moses specialist will partner with all learners and communicate any accommodations to the instructor. 
  • Brightspace has accommodation features and options, please consult an instructional designer in the DIL team.


  • Exhibitions
  • Portfolios
    • Portfolios showcase projects a learner has done over a term. Learners can also write notes on each piece to explain how they made it or thought about it.
    • Instructors can utilize the same technology for exhibitions above.
  • Presentations
    • Learners explain and showcase content, concepts, and thinking. This can be delivered in person, during Zoom, or a recording uploaded into Brightspace Assignments (or Discussions for sharing with peers).
  • Research Projects
    • Learners identify a real-world problem, investigate, and create/propose solutions.
    • Can be individual or group projects. Consider our guide on forming groups for strategies and tips.
    • Showcase projects in a public forum, such as a class presentation, online portfolio, or community event.
  • Reflections
    • Showcase growth of thinking during the course. These papers or videos don’t grade knowledge or skills, but do help learners and instructors understand how the course has influenced growth and unlearning developments.
    • Written reflections can use Google Docs and submitted on Brightspace Assignments.
    • Video reflections can be recorded using NYU Stream’s “express capture” and submitted on Brightspace Assignments.
  • Take-home Exam
    • A flexible alternative to the traditional in person exams. Consider the strategies and technology below.

Recommendations for Take-Home Exams (and Papers)

  • Brightspace’s Quizzes is commonly used for online exams.
    • Paper submissions can use Brightspace Assignments.
  • Clear instructions.
    • Is the exam “open book”?
    • Is AI allowed?
  • Brightspace Announcements to send reminders, such as:
  • An ungraded practice Brightspace quiz at least a week before the exam.
  • Flexible time limits.
    • Broad window (e.g. 24 hours) within which to start the exam, but a timer will start once the exam is opened in that window.
  • Include mention of Academic Integrity in the instructions.
    • Consider, but neither are required:
      • Low-tech: Including an honor code acknowledgement question.
      • High-tech: Harness proctoring technology, such as Respondus.


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