Assessment can be an incredibly powerful addition to any instructional toolkit. Many faculty, however, dislike talking about assessment. This is likely because assessment is frequently conflated with evaluation, that assessment is a reflection of the quality of teaching. But that's not how we think about assessment. Take a moment to watch this short video about assessment featuring Dr. Jim Pellegrino from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
There are many articles, videos, conference presentations, and even books about the value of assessment. But we like how succinctly Dr. Pellegrino puts it; assessment is a means by which you can gauge if students are actually learning what you are trying to teach them. By using either formal or informal assessments, you give yourself the power of flexibility within any learning situation. This is incredibly valuable, especially in online or hybrid environments. Well-used assessments show you how well students are following along and let you know if certain content requires more discussion or review, or if the class can move forward at a faster pace.