5 Outside of the Box Assessment Ideas

As another school year comes to a close, many of us are designing our end of the year assessments or knee deep grading them. For those still in the planning stages of their end of the year assessments, I want to encourage you to think outside of the box. The final assessment does not have to be a pen and paper or scantron exam. We have one last opportunity to engage students and ask them to demonstrate higher-order thinking and creativity in their final assessment. However, this requires that we demonstrate the same level of creativity in the design of that assessment.

Not all students do their best work with a pen and paper (or a pencil and scantron), so it’s unfortunate that those are the primary modes of assessing what students know. Each time I’ve assigned an alternative form of assessment, like the ones below, I’ve been absolutely floored by what my students create. There are always a collection of students who don’t do well on traditional exams and writing assignments who shine when asked to think outside the box and create!

Here are 5 of my favorite “outside the box” assessments! Just click the title to read more about each!

1. Digital Portfolios

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2. Infographics


3. Digital Stories and Movies

Note: When having students share their work online, it’s important to teach them how to manage their YouTube comments. Click here to read a blog on that!

4. TED-style Talk

5. Make Stuff 

Anna Makerspace



Do you have alternative assessment ideas that have worked for you? If so, please post a comment and share your “outside of the box” assessment ideas! I’m always looking for additional ideas.

Creatively Teach the Common Core Literacy Standards with Technology  Available NOW! Just in time for summer reading!

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