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Techniques for Assessing
Course-Related Knowledge and Skills

Assessing Skills in Synthesis and Creative Thinking


  1. ONE SENTENCE SUMMARIES - have students answer these questions on a specific topic, and then synthesize answer into one long, informative, and grammatical sentence: Who/What, When, Where, Why, How?

  2. WORD JOURNAL - requires a 2-part response. First, student will summarize a short text read in a single word, next the student writes a paragraph or two explaining why they chose that particular word to summarize the text.

  3. APPROXIMATE ANALOGIES - have students complete the 2nd half of an analogy-A is to B as X is to Y, etc., to which the instructor has prepared the first half.

  4. CONCEPT MAPS - have students draw/diagram a map connecting the major topic of focus with what they consider its most important features/other ideas and concepts that they have learned/etc-can use for class discussion or group work.

  5. INVENTED DIALOGUES - students can either select and weave together actual quotes from primary resources, or have them "invent" reasonable quotes that fit the character and context of the speakers.

  6. ANNOTATED PORTFOLIOS - have students put together a limited number of examples of their work (creative writing, research papers, art, poems, etc.), along with a commentary as to why each example is significant.

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Virginia Commonwealth University | Center for Teaching Excellence
Last modified: June 20, 2013
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