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Classroom Assessment KnowledgeBase


This KnowledgeBase archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.

The Classroom Assessment KnowledgeBase is an online resource for state departments of education to use as part of their professional development efforts with districts and schools. Organized around five elements, it brings together concepts, how-to guidance, tools, and resources about classroom assessment.

Element 1: Determine the Goals of the Formative Assessment

Purpose: Developing effective formative assessments begins with an understanding of the fundamentals. These include being knowledgeable about the basic concepts, being able to define "formative," and establishing goals and objectives for formative assessments. Element 1 outlines these tasks and offers resources for the classroom teacher to gain such understanding.

Activity 1: Understand the Basic Concepts of Formative Assessment

Task 1: Review the Concepts of Formative Assessment
Task 2: Understand the Rationale for Formative Assessment
Task 3: Be Knowledgeable About the Multiple Forms of Assessment

Activity 2: Define Formative Assessment

Task 1: Identify the Types of Formative Assessment
Task 2: Establish the Purpose of the Formative Assessment(s)

Activity 3: Determine the Objectives for the Assessment

Task 1: Take a Snapshot of the Classroom
Task 2: Identify What Students Need to Know and Be Able to Do

Element 2: Design or Select the Assessment

Purpose: Assessments used in the classroom can be designed locally by teachers or selected from any number of commercial or other professional sources. Regardless of an assessment's origin, teachers must first plan what they intend to accomplish with the assessment. Upon doing so, they can determine whether a pre-existing or new assessment will best meet their needs.

Activity 1: Plan the Assessment

Task 1: Consider Circumstances that Impact Formative Assessment
Task 2: How to Use Formative Assessment

Activity 2: Evaluate Pre-existing Assessments

Task 1: Identify Available Pre-existing Assessments
Task 2: Work Through Considerations for Selecting Pre-existing Assessments
Task 3: Identify Specific Assessment to Meet Purpose and Goals
Task 4: Seek Input from Colleagues and Experts

Activity 3: Develop Own Assessment

Task 1: Work Through Considerations for Developing the Assessment
Task 2: Create the Assessment Based on the Specific Purpose and Goal
Task 3: Seek Input from Colleagues and Experts

Element 3: Administer the Assessment

Purpose: Administering assessments includes conducting and scoring. Conducting the assessment addresses the when, where, and how of doing so. Scoring the assessment focuses on the scoring rubric, determining individual scores, and analyzing the results. Both are essential parts of administering the assessment.

Activity 1: Conduct the Assessment

Task 1: Determine When to Use the Assessment
Task 2: Create a Comfortable and Productive Environment in which to Conduct the Assessment
Task 3: Identify Necessary Accommodation(s) and Timing
Task 4: Provide Clear, Concise Instructions, and Positive Encouragement

Activity 2: Score the Assessment

Task 1: Establish the Scoring Rubric to be Used with the Assessment
Task 2: Determine Individual Student Scores
Task 3: Assure Assessment Quality

Element 4: Understand and Interpret the Assessment Results

Purpose: When used properly, assessment results enhance instruction. It is incumbent upon teachers to understand, know how to interpret, and explain the results effectively to their students, parents, and other district and school staff members.

Activity 1: Produce and Review Assessment Results

Task 1: Review Results for Student Strengths and Weaknesses
Task 2: Analyze Result Trends
Task 3: Seek Comparative Data
Task 4: Determine How and Where to Retain Assessment Data

Activity 2: Inform and Collect Feedback from Constituencies

Task 1: Communicate with Students and Parents
Task 2: Collaborate Among District and School Staff Members

Element 5: Make Adjustments in Instruction and Assessment

Purpose: Good assessments provide the basis for making adjustments in instruction as well as future assessments. Assessment results show teachers where changes need to be made in instructional approaches for groups of students or individual students. The assessment outcomes also show students what they need to do to improve their learning. Changes to instruction based on assessment results complete the learning cycle.

Activity 1: Make Adjustments to Instruction

Task 1: Make Adjustments to Content Emphasis and Curriculum
Task 2: Formulate Adjustments to Instructional Delivery

Activity 2: Make Adjustments to the Assessment

Task 1: Determine if Revisions to Original Assessment are Warranted
Task 2: Plan Future Assessments Based on Students'; Strengths and Weaknesses
Task 3: Align Adjustments with Curriculum Standards, Instructional Methods, and Other Assessments

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and are intended for general reference purposes only. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education or the Center, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Some resources on this site require Adobe Acrobat Reader. This website archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.