Assessment that measures student learning in forms other than traditional pencil-and-paper, short-answer tests.
In this form of assessment, students create a response to a prompt versus choosing a response to question as required by traditional assessments. Examples of alternative assessments include demonstrations, essays, exhibits, journal writing, open-ended questions, oral presentations, performance-based assessments, and portfolios.
For further explanation:
North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) offers a bibliography of resources on “Alternative Assessment.”