Assessment as Learning: The Role of Minor Assignment in Teaching and Learning

Paul Adams


This article focuses on assessment at the level of the course and classroom,
rather than the program or institution. The assumption that building a culture of
assessment in a socialwork program, or its host university—assessment,understood
as a “rich conversation about student learning informed by data” (Marchese,
2004)—requires that both faculty and students are engaged by assessment as an
activity that directly benefits their own teaching and learning while these are in
progress. Classroom assessment based on the frequent use of minor assignments—
ungraded tasks set by instructors for students to perform in the classroom—offers
this direct and immediate linkage of assessment to learning. The uses and advantages
of minor assignments are described, and the dynamic interplay between
minor assignments and assessment is illustrated with an example from the teaching
of Social Security in a social welfare policy class.


Assignments; assessment; instruction technique

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