Diagnostic assessments (also known as pre-assessments) provide instructors with information about student's prior knowledge and misconceptions before beginning a learning activity and also diagnose students’ strengths and areas of need.

These assessments also provide a baseline for understanding how much learning has taken place after the learning activity is completed. Instructors usually build concepts sequentially throughout a course. A diagnostic pre-assessment provides an opportunity to determine if students remember the concepts they need. If some students don't remember important concepts, then a refresher will make the current activity more meaningful and improve learning outcomes for students.

Benefits of Diagnostic Assessments

Consider: What benefits of using diagnostic assessment can you see for your own classes?  Consider these when drafting your course map and module worksheet at the end of this module.