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I was reading Aviation Instructor Handbook. I don't know the difference between assessment and critique. That would be great if someone could explain about it! Thank you!

In my understanding, assessment is just comparing student's performance to established standards without saying it was good or bad. And, critique is more like telling the way or process student performs was good or poor without comparing to the standards. But, I'm not completely sure.

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My understanding of the difference between assessing and critiquing is this.

Assessing or assessment involves grading a subjects performance or ability against a given standard or ideal. This can involve a letter or numeric grading, or a simple pass/fail grade. When grading against an ideal subject or situation, absent of an accepted standard, can be rather subjective.

Critiquing or a critique is a judgement of the way a subject performs. It is not meant as a way to judge the performance. Rather, it is meant to provide feedback to the subject regardless of the grade against the standard in order for them to improve. This is much like coaching. You would coach both your worst and your best performer for them both to improve. Even if their performance warranted a passing grade.

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  • $\begingroup$ That's great explanation!! Assessment involves grading and critique is more like providing feedback. It helps me a lot!! Thank you so much! $\endgroup$ – Denji Aug 30 '20 at 20:40
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Welcome to the Aviation forums. Once you become a CFI, you join a unique group of people. It isn't easy but well worth the effort.

I have perused the Aviation Instructors Handbook Chapter 6. From my reading and what I do with my students I would consider an assessment a formal evaluation of the students performance. A critique would be an informal evaluation and is usually part of the debrief after the flight.

I spend considerable time briefing the students on what the flight lesson is going to entail and the performance standards I am using, answer questions from study assignments and talk general pilot knowledge and things they need to know to become a great pilot and also to pass the oral test.

Once the flight is over, I spend time talking with the student on their performance. It is a one-to-one conversation where we both determine where the student is at and decide what the next lesson is going to be. This would be a critique.

I personally start out asking the students how they felt the lesson went for them... where things went well and where things need extra attention next time. I then start my critique where I describe what went well and what went not so well. At the conclusion we discuss what the next study assignment is going to be and the next flight training session is going to entail.

After the student leaves, I will sit down and formally document in the students training folder the items that we trained and the grades they received. This would be the assessment.

If I were to sum up this answer in a sentence. Critiques are informal discussions on performance and assessments are formal documentation of the performance.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for explaining!! I really appreciate you gave me a real life example. It much easier to understand!! $\endgroup$ – Denji Aug 30 '20 at 20:43

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