Gathering Evidence through Conversation, Observation and Products


When teachers use a variety of assessment strategies to gather evidence of student learning, this increases the reliability and validity of assessment. This is called triangulation. Teachers can collect evidence of student learning from three sources:

  • Conversation: Providing opportunities for students to develop and articulate their thinking during small- and large-group conversations, and in student–teacher conversations; posing questions that make students’ thinking explicit.
  • Observation: Observing students as they perform tasks or work towards the completion of an artifact.
  • Products: Designing performance tasks that provide student with a variety of ways to demonstrate their learning through an artifact (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2010, p. 39; Ophea, 2016, p. 19).

Teachers use their professional judgment to collect evidence from all three sources over a period of time, in a variety of settings and using a variety of tools. They select tasks and use assessment strategies that will help students demonstrate their learning.

Refer to the Assessment Strategies for examples of how teachers may gather evidence of student learning from each source (conversation, observation, product). It is important to note that there can be overlap between the sources, and a strategy may serve more than one role in the triangulation of evidence.

Assessment Strategies


  • Student-led conference
  • Interview
  • Questioning
  • Small-group discussion: gallery walk, placemat, think, pair, share or sketch, pair, share
  • Whole-class discussion
  • Portfolio conversations
  • Posts in class forums
  • Peer feedback
  • Student critique
  • Student-led article review
  • Exit pass/card
  • Inside–outside circle


  • Physical demonstration during game play
  • Peer coaching during activity timeouts
  • Peer assessments
  • Performance of a sequence of moves (e.g., dance, gymnastics, yoga)
  • Planning stage for presentations
  • Inquiry graphic organizer
  • Student workbook
  • Mind map
  • Concept map
  • Graffiti board
  • Peer problem-solving/conflict resolution (real or scenario-based)
  • Lab
  • Reciprocal teaching


  • Video/audio recording
  • Fitness journals
  • Presentation (individual or small-group)
  • Webpage
  • Blog
  • Photo journals
  • Portfolio
  • Quiz/test
  • Role play
  • Poster
  • Collage
  • Scrapbook
  • Speech
  • Action plan
  • Song/Rap
  • Game (student-created)
  • Playbook