Assessment needs to be useful. In education an awful lot of useless busy work goes on in the name of assessment—a lot of measuring for measuring’s sake—and faculty are understandably wary of it. However, creating useful assessment just takes some planning at the beginning. It means describing what students should be able to do by the end of a program and turning those descriptors into a program-level rubric. Once the program rubric is in place, faculty—who’ve hopefully had a say in the process—can use the rubric as a basis for creating activities and adapt language from the rubric as needed for their own assignments.
During the Course Design Program we often point out that the litmus test for an authentic assessment is an assignment that students could include in an ePortfolio to demonstrate that they have met one or more of the program outcomes. ePortfolios are a great way to keep everyone focused on program outcomes. I recently helped the School of New Continuing Studies build out program rubrics for their Digital Cultures and Organizational Leadership programs. These rubrics appear in every course along with a list of suggested assignments that students can use in their ePortfolios.
If you take a look at the Step-by-Step Guide to Implement an ePortfolio Program I developed you'll see that creating a program-level rubric is pretty much the first step of the process.
I also worked with my colleague Mark Anthoney to develop embeddable forms that students could put in their ePortfolios to get rubric-based feedback. We called our project Assessing ePortfolios in the Wild since students build their ePortfolios out in the world rather than within an institutional ePortfolio system.