A checklist is a tool that allows teachers and students to gather information regarding demonstration of specific criteria related to a learning outcome. Usually the checklist is in a yes/no format, and therefore is very quick and easy to use, offering information at a glance. A checklist may be used to record observations of an individual, a group or a whole class.

Unlike a rubric, which offers a continuum of achievement descriptions, a checklist is a list of components. It is most suitable for tasks or observations that have a definitive answer – either the criteria are met or not met. Checklists can be used by an observer (typically an educator, but could be another student) or as a self-assessment tool.

Following is an example of a checklist, taken from a Grade One sample outcome assessment . 1

Upper elementary or high school teachers and students may find checklists particularly useful when assessing math projects. Checklists may be a type of formative assessment, for example, has the student included the required elements of the project, listed in the checklist. The following example is a checklist that could be used for a game design project. Additional checklists could be developed and used when a teacher observes students playing the math game, with the items on the checklist corresponding to the objectives of the math game.

Further reading/Professional resources:

  • Checklists and Achievement charts2 – this article comes from the Learning Disabilities 2 Association of Ontario, and provides information about the particular usefulness of checklists for students with learning disabilities, although the information is applicable for all students.

1Sample Math Outcome Questions (Blackboard). (n.d.). Retrieved 18 December 2020, from

2Lauzon, N. Checklists and Achievement Charts for Students with Learning Disabilities. Retrieved 18 December 2020, from

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