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Assessing Experiential Learning

Please cite as follows: Chan, CKY (2015). "Assessing Experiential Learning", Engineering Education Enhancement and Research Asia (E3R Asia).

Direct Observation

What is Direct Observation?

Direct observation is conducted based on teachers’ and/or supervisors’ judgment of students’ ability in relation to the intended learning outcomes while observing their performance during the community service project (Chan, 2008).


In addition to other assessment, such as presentation, daily reflective journal and summative report, the daily performance of students participating in the Sichuan Reconstruction Community Service Project organized by the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Hong Kong was assessed by both professional assessors in Sichuan and team supervisors (Chan, 2012). Team supervisors recorded their observation of students’ daily performance on their initiative to learn and their contribution to the project, while professional assessors in Sichuan recorded their observation of students’ performance in team building activities (e.g. assessment of how well students have participated and cooperated with group members during the service project).

The assessment framework used for the HKU Sichuan Reconstruction Project can be downloaded here.


  • Chan, C. K. Y. (2008). Direct observation. Retrieved 29 Aug, 2013 http://ar.cetl.hku.hk/am_do.htm
  • Chan, C. K. Y. (2012). Assessment for community service types of experiential learning in the engineering discipline. European Journal of Engineering Education, 37(1), 29-38.