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

  • Paul Adams
Keywords: Assignments, assessment, instruction technique


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.