Effective assessment is not an end in itself; rather it is a process that facilitates instructional decision making by providing data on how we are doing as instructors and how we can improve the effectiveness of the teaching and learning process. There are several ways of gathering data on student learning, ranging from selection of the correct response (multiple-choice, true-false) to complex demonstrations of skills. Regardless of the strategy used, the keys to effective assessment are its congruency with meaningful instructional objectives and its emphasis on the evaluation of processes and procedures as well as on the products of learning. Effective assessment is relevant, valid, reliable, comprehensive, objective and fair, and clear in purpose, directions, instructions, and expectations. Effective assessment processes and tools is the focus of this issue of the Forum/Labyrinth.