Advantages and Disadvantages of Assessment Methods

Different methods of assessment have different strengths and weaknesses. You can match assessment methods to different student outcomes you have specified. The table below offers several examples.
Written Products
Best Application
Content knowledge and skills. Content knowledge.
Some content skills.
Content knowledge. Habits of mind.

Opportunities for authentic contexts. Allows students to demonstrate their work to an authentic audience.

Allows for the integration of complex skills.

Allows students to work over an extended period of time to incorporate revisions.

Allows for student craftsmanship, pride, and personal embellishment.

Allows for a standardized administration to large groups of students.

Useful for assessing individual students.

Allows for teacher to assess attitudes, reflections, and thinking processes of students.

Allows students to identify the benefits of project work; good for identifying unanticipated consequences.

Difficult to set up and administer, especially with a large number of students. Difficult to assess individual contributions when the product is a group product. Judging what has been learned is not always evident from looking at products. Difficult to assess skills through paper-and-pencil measures. Difficult to establish reliable criteria.