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Alternative assessment

In the education industry, alternative assessment is in direct contrast to what is known as performance evaluation, traditional assessment, summative assessment. Alternative assessment is also known under various terms, namely: For lay people, the simplest term to remember is 'portfolio'. Students, teachers, and sometimes parents choose select pieces from a student's work to demonstrate that learning and improvement has taken place.

Some of the characteristics of a portfolio, authentic assessment or alternative assessment product is that it emphasizes and evidences the learning process as an active demonstration of knowledge. It is used for evaluating learning processes and learning outcomes. Furthermore, alternative assessments are used to encourage student involvement in their assessment, their interaction with other students, teachers, parents and community.

Formats vary, demonstrations, journals, and presentations can be used as alternative assessments but, portfolios are considered the most effective and reflective of student learning.