Course Evaluation Categories

Evaluation strategies and their weighting in the final course mark are determined using learning outcomes, content, academic level, and teaching and learning strategies as parameters. Using a variety of evaluation strategies will help meet the needs of students with different learning styles. Evaluation categories and weighting will normally be the same for all same-coded courses regardless of program or campus.

Guidelines for evaluation

The Evaluation Factors section of the Course Development page provides general guidelines for evaluation.


  • Provide students with evaluation opportunities at regular intervals throughout the term.
  • Provide a minimum of two evaluation categories and three evaluation opportunities per course.
  • The weighting in any one category should not exceed 75 per cent of the final grade.
  • The weighting for exams should be no less than 25 per cent of the total grade.
  • Where an external accreditation requires a passing grade to be higher than the college standard of 50 per cent, make note of the requirement in the evaluation section of the course outline.
  • Academic courses typically have a numeric grade mode while practical experience courses use pass/fail.
  • If successful completion of a course is dependent on meeting a specific requirement, use a grade mode of pass/fail (eg. 90 per cent requirement on a safety test in order to pass the course).
  • The course syllabus provides details regarding specific requirements within a category, supplemental privileges, and other course completion requirements.

Evaluation categories

Following is a chart that describes the evaluation categories used at Georgian:

Note: some categories may overlap to allow flexibility (e.g., tests might include quizzes and exams)

Evaluation categoryDescription
AssignmentPrescribed task or piece of work completed inside or outside of the classroom. Examples include, but are not limited to case studies, lab work, reports, presentations, etc.
EssayA written argument, usually in prose, on any subject; includes reviews and critiques.
ExaminationCumulative evaluation at fixed points (e.g., mid-term, end of term), includes comprehensive final exams which assess the students’ understanding of topics covered throughout the full term. Specify if a comprehensive exam is included. Final/comprehensive exams are non-returnable to students (college must keep for at least one year).
Group projectProject activity assigned to groups of students (generally two to six students).
PortfolioAny portable case, a notebook, folder, or report binder that holds a collection of documents, photographs, drawings, or other materials that belong to or represent the work of an individual. Can also be digital portfolios or e-portfolios.
Practical skill demonstrationIndividual demonstration of specific skills or groups of skills that make up a task. Skill demonstrations provide evidence of meeting basic competencies.
PresentationOral and/or visual presentation of report, project, research paper, portfolio or assignment to classmates and/or faculty. Can be individual or group.
ProjectReport with a practical component; detailed study of a particular subject; generally covering about three weeks or the equivalent in duration.
QuizAnnounced or unannounced short “test,” in or out of class; usually 15 minutes or less; not given a major weighting.
Reflective progress notesReflective progress notes are similar to writing journal entries and utilized in health science programs where there is a practicum. Notes should correspond to the learning outcomes of the practicum and focus on continuous improvement of the students’ professional practice.
ReportStructured, systematic written presentation of informative and/or persuasive material. May include written documents and/or drawings, photographs, and tables.
Research paperSystematic exploration (utilizing either primary and/or secondary research) of a problem or question presented in essay form, which may also include such elements as charts, tables, appendices, table of content.
SeminarLeadership of discussion amongst small group of classmates (usually six to 12) of particular topic or subject.
TestPlanned, periodic assessment; could include multiple choice, short and/or long written answers; commonly set within class periods. This category may also include quizzes and exams.