I think that part of the question lies in the 21st Century student. The students that is a part of the 21st Century learning mentality has a different orientation towards being engaged with content. Experiences, relevant literature, and innovative assessments that encompass both are part of the learning schematic of the 21st Century learner. In constructing assessments that are able to focus on relevant literature and the learner's experiences, the triangular configuration between content, learner, and assessment tool becomes more effective for comprehension to be displayed.
Assessment methods that are differentiated with the individual student in mind is where learning becomes more evident in the modern classroom. This might take the form of more than a traditional paper and pencil, objective question exam. The more complex and nuanced approach to understanding and learning can be seen in assessments that are specific to both learner and engaging literature, enabling the learner to draw upon both the content and their own experiences within it. In this context, a more fulfilling learner experience is solidified through assessment being a part of the learning process.