A FREE Virtual Institute for Alternative Assessment in Higher Education

Reimagining Assessment of Student Learning for the 21st century

Institute Program

Wednesday, November 23rd 1:00-7:00pm EST 



This virtual institute will provide an opportunity for educators of every level to engage with their colleagues in sharing the opportunities, methods, and challenges provided by alternative assessment in higher education. Join the conversation about innovative, unique assessment strategies, hear about research that is currently underway, find research collaborators, share your alternative assessment practices and experiences, ask questions of others trying something new, and learn how you can support alternative assessment in your department or faculty. The participation of individuals from around the world and from a variety of institutional roles will allow participants to consider alternative assessment holistically and from multiple perspectives.


  • Faculty members, instructors, teaching assistants
  • Teaching and learning leadership and staff
  • Assessment researchers
  • Graduate students and emerging researchers
  • University leadership on multiple levels

Keynote speakers

Maha Bali

Maha Bali headshot

Maha Bali is Professor of Practice at the Center for Learning and Teaching at the American University in Cairo. She has a PhD in Education from the University of Sheffield, UK. She is co-founder of (a grassroots movement that challenges academic gatekeeping at conferences) and co-facilitator of Equity Unbound (an equity-focused, open, connected intercultural learning curriculum, which has also branched into academic community activities Continuity with Care, Socially Just Academia, a collaboration with OneHE: Community-building Resources and MYFest, an innovative 3-month professional learning journey. She writes and speaks frequently about social justice, critical pedagogy, and open and online education. She blogs regularly at and tweets @bali_maha

Further links

For Maha’s list of peer-reviewed publications, see here.

For Maha’s list of keynotes and invited talks, see here.

Maha’s keynote is: Alternative Assessments for Inclusive Teaching

How do we approach assessment in alternative ways that help us achieve goals less tangible than traditional “learning outcomes”? How can we think of assessments as a way of creating more inclusive learning environments, promoting care, and nurturing community? We will discuss why, give examples of how, and encourage participants to imagine what’s next for their own context.

David Buck

David Buck is a Professor of English at Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland. Before joining HowardCC’s faculty in 2007, he was an English Instructor for eight years at Rowan College at Burlington County in New Jersey. From 2010-2014, he served as Director of eLearning, leading a 2011 migration from Blackboard to Canvas that made HowardCC one of the first institutions to adopt Canvas outside of the state of Utah. He also facilitated HowardOpen, the college’s Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative that seeks to support faculty who wish to adopt and implement OER in their courses in place of costly commercial textbooks. His professional interests include writing assessment, feedback practices, ungrading, mastery-based learning, and open pedagogy. He holds a master’s degree in Education from Temple University (Philadelphia, PA). David tweets regularly about ungrading @dbuckedu.

David will address the topic of: “Ungrading: A Road to Equity”

 According to Peter Elbow, “Grading tends to undermine the climate for teaching and learning. Once we start grading their work, students are tempted to study or work for the grade rather than for learning.” Imagine rewriting the narrative of assessment to include student agency, where we tap into students’ intrinsic motivation to labor with a focus on the learning process rather than a graded product. Imagine creating courses as natural critical learning environments where students are encouraged to pursue meaningful questions, set and pursue personal learning goals/targets, take an active role in their assessment, and choose the evidence that best demonstrates their learning. Imagine courses in which narrative feedback and student reflections replace the transactional, inequitable nature of traditional grades. An interesting proposition, no? Join us as we explore the equity and freedom promised by ungrading!

 Students’ Panel on alternative assessment

We want to hear from our learners who had experience with alternative assessment. We have been in touch with students in different disciplines and different countries. They will join us for a panel where they will present their experience with alternative assessment and answer your questions.

Registration Link

You can use this link to register for the institute and we will be in touch later. Join in from wherever you are in the world. Participate in as many sessions as you wish. Each presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer period.


Do you have ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT research, practice, or institutional development to share with your colleagues worldwide?

Submit the attached form no later than Oct. 31st.

  1. Individual or group presentation

Length of presentation: 20 minutes + 10 minutes for questions

Note: Presentation proposals will be accepted until Oct. 31st and confirmed by Nov. 7th . Once the agenda is confirmed, presenters will prepare a video of their presentation and share it with the organizing committee. Time will be given at the end of each video presentation for questions.

  1. Panel discussion

Alternatively, you can participate in a panel discussion. If you prefer this option, please indicate that in the attached form.

The Team

This institute is organized by Eliana Elkhoury, Phd and Deb Homuth, PhD student and funded by Athabasca University.