Classroom assessment in the 2000s moved more toward computer-based tests that utilize technology, such as laptops, notebooks and tablets. Student comprehension and subject mastery are also assessed through projects, portfolios and oral examinations. Questions for most standardized tests come from standards developed by each state.
With the move to Common Core standards beginning in 2010, assessments in the United States are facing redesigns that allow students to demonstrate critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Computer-based assessments provide the advantage of automated scoring, removing human error and providing faster access to results. As technology continues to advance, more schools employ this method for its speed and ease of use. Teachers can use data from the computer assessments to design instruction targeted to meet student needs.
Teachers also use a multitude of methods in their classrooms for more informal assessments. Performance assessments involve asking students to demonstrate mastery of a concept with a physical performance, such as a speech or presentation. Oral assessments require students to answer a series of questions that measure the depth of their knowledge. Teachers use portfolio assessments to gather representations of students' work over the course of the school year. They also keep records of work that show a student's progress in a particular subject. Project assessments allow students to work alone or together to complete a task that demonstrates their understanding of a concept.