Assessment & Critique



  • To determine how students’ progress in their training
  • A good assessment provides practical and specific feedback to students, including direction and guidance on how to raise performance.
  • Contributes to decision making and judgment skills



  • Focus on student performance, not on personal opinions, likes, dislikes, or biases
  • To be objective, a critique must be honest and based on the performance as it was


  • The performance must be examined in the context it was accomplished
  • Fit the tone, technique, and content of the critique to the occasion as well as the student
  • Allow for variables and be flexible to satisfy the requirements of the moment.


  • Before accepting the critique, students must accept the instructor
    • Must be confident in qualifications, teaching ability, sincerity, competence, and authority
  • Present the critique fairly, with authority, conviction, sincerity, and from a position of competence.


  • Cover strengths & weaknesses
  • What will provide the greatest benefit?
    • A few major points or more minor points (tailor to the student)
    • Critique what needs improved most or only what can be reasonably expected to improve


  • The critique is pointless unless the student profits from it
  • Don’t offer a negative critique without a solution


  • It should follow a pattern of organization, otherwise, it may lose its impact
    • Any pattern is acceptable if it is logical and makes sense to the student and instructor
    • Options Include:
      • The sequence of the performance itself
      • Work backward from where the demonstration failed (or was successful)
      • Break the whole into parts or build the parts into a whole


  • Reflects thoughtfulness to self-esteem, recognition, and approval from others
    • Ridicule, anger, or fun at a student’s expense have no place in a critique

Specific (Rather Than General)

  • Tell the student why something was not good and how to improve it
  • Students should have no doubt what was good, and what was poor, and how they can improve.

Traditional Assessment

  • Generally, refers to written testing
  • Characteristics of a good test
    • Reliability
    • Validity
    • Usability
    • Objectivity
    • Comprehensiveness
    • Discrimination

Authentic Assessment

  • The student is asked to perform real-world tasks, and demonstrate a meaningful application of skills and competencies
    • Students must generate responses from their knowledge rather than choosing from options
  • Open-ended questions and set criteria are important characteristics. 

Oral Assessment

  • The most common method of assessment
  • Comprised of direct or indirect questioning of the student

Characteristics of effective oral questions

  • Have only one correct answer
  • Must apply to the subject of instruction
  • Should be brief and concise, but also clear and definite
  • Must be adapted to the ability, experience, and stage of training of the students
  • Center on only one idea
  • Should be limited to who, what, where, when, why, or how and not a combination
  • Must present a challenge to the student
  • Demand and deserve the use of proper English

Types of Questions to Avoid

  • “Do you understand?” “Do you have any questions?” have no place in effective quizzing
  • Puzzle Questions
  • Oversize
  • Toss-up
  • Bewilderment
  • Trick Questions
  • Irrelevant Questions


Instructor / Student Critique

  • The instructor leads a group discussion in which students offer criticism of a performance
    • This should be controlled carefully and directed with a firm purpose (not a free-for-all)
    • It’s often beneficial (if the student being critiqued approves) to allow other students to sit in on post-flight debriefs to learn from other’s mistakes and/or successes.

Student-Led Critique

  • A student is asked to lead the critique
  • This can generate student interest and learning, and be effective

Small-Group Critique

  • Small groups are assigned a specific area to analyze and present their findings on
    • Results in a comprehensive critique

Individual Student Critique by Another Student

  • Another student is requested to present the entire critique
    • The instructor must maintain firm control over the process.


  • A student critiques their own personal performance
  • Do not leave controversial issues unresolved, or erroneous impressions uncorrected
  • Make sure the student realizes the mistakes

Written Critique

  • Three Advantages
    1. The instructor can devote more time and thought to it
    2. The student can keep written critiques and refer to them whenever they wish
    3. The student has a record of suggestions, recommendations, and opinions of all other students
  • A disadvantage is that the other members of the class do not benefit

Ground Rules

  • Do not extend the critique beyond its scheduled time limit and into the time allotted for other activities
    • Point of diminishing returns is reached very quickly
    • No more than 10-15 minutes (never more than 30 minutes)
  • Avoid trying to cover too much
    • Get the main points (4-5 things to correct at most)
  • Allow time for a summary of the critique to reemphasize the most important things to remember
  • Avoid absolute statements (most rules have exceptions)
  • Avoid controversies with the class and don’t take sides
  • Never allow yourself to be maneuvered into defending criticism!
    • Don’t let the student argue and tell you that you are wrong
  • If part of the critique is written, ensure it is consistent with the oral portion

Conclusion & Review

Briefly review the main lesson points & anything in question


  1. Assessment:
    1. Purpose of assessment
    2. General characteristics of effective assessment
    3. Traditional assessment
    4. Authentic assessment
    5. Oral assessment
    6. Characteristics of effective questions
    7. Typers of questions to avoid
  2. Critique:
    1. Instructors/student critique
    2. Student-lead critique
    3. Small group critique
    4. Individual student critique by another student
    5. Self-critique
    6. Written critique

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