As a teacher, I use a variety of assessment techniques that are influenced as much by the abilities and interests of my students as by where we are in the topic. For my students this year, I use quite a bit of "art" in my assessments. For example, we studied the types of science and science professions by first looking at student drawings of their concept of a "scientist." To make things a little more interesting, they presented their vocabulary of one chapter with drawings of any concept that lent itself to that approach. In lab, I use both lab reports and "practical" tests of understanding of lab techniques. I believe that a "hands on" approach works very well, especially for students who have difficulty expressing themselves in written asssessments. This is particularly important for my students who have recently transitioned from our English as second language program. I also use lab report grades as test grades to aid students who are not good at written tests.
I do use written assessments but this year I have added appropriate illustrations to my tests, with much success. Students tell me that this not only aids them in understanding what is being asked, but also helps them to hold their interest. I especially advocate this approach for the level at which I teach -- 9th grade and the subject I teach -- Physical Science which can be a little dry if not handled with creativity.
In sum, my choices of assessment techniques are influenced greatly by the ability and knowledge levels of my students while, at the same time, assessing all of the required concepts of my subject, science department, and state testing requirements.