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Classroom Assessment for Student Learning (Note Pages)


Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing it Right, Using it Well

Chapter 1

 Assessment can motivate the unmotivated

 The time is right to add to our definition of skillful teaching the skillful use of assessment—doing it right and using it well


Sound and productive classroom assessments are built on a foundation of the following five key dimensions:


    Arise from and be designed to serve the specific information needs of intended users.

?    Why assess? To serve users’ information needs

    Arise from clearly articulated and appropriate achievement targets.

?    Assess What? Clear targets

    Accurately reflect student achievement.

?    Assess How? With accurate assessment in any context

    Yield results that are effectively communicated to their intended users.

?    Communicate How? In a timely and understandable manner

    Involve students in classroom assessment, record keeping, and communication.

High-quality classroom assessment equals accurate information—clear purposes, clear learning targets, and an appropriate design—used effectively to help students learn.

Assessment becomes a part of instruction


Students are involved at all steps.















What’s the purpose?

Who will use the results?



What are the learning targets?

Are they clear?

Are they good?



How manage information?

How report?




What method?

Written well? Sampled how? Avoid bias how?

*Students track progress and communicate too.

*Students decide whether the learning is worth the effort required to attain it.

*We assess to gather evidence of student learning what will inform instructional decisions.

*We make some decisions frequently (what to teach next or what blocks student learning).

*We make some decisions periodically (report card grades and referral for ESS).

*When classroom learning targets are clear, the next step is to transform them into student-friendly language.

*Accuracy is crucial, so we must be sure to use the proper form of assessment that matches learning targets.



 Become comfortable differentiating among the information needs of the various users of classroom assessment, especially students.

 Understand the importance of and know how to frame learning targets to underpin sound classroom assessments, including developing student-friendly versions of achievement standards.

 Assess student achievement accurately on all occasions by knowing how to select and develop classroom assessments that fit each unique context, involving students in self-assessment when appropriate.

 Understand how to manage and communicate assessment results, again, involving students when appropriate and in ways that promote learning.




As a department, we are a learning team designed to be, “a group of individuals who have committed to meet regularly for an agreed amount of time guided by a common purpose.”

 Learning Team efforts should focus on:

? Thinking about classroom assessment

? Reading and reflecting on new classroom assessment strategies

? Shaping the strategies into applications

? Trying out applications, observing, and drawing inferences about what does and does not work

? Reflecting on and summarizing learning and conclusions from that experience

? Sharing and problem solving with team members

 Division of learning time is meant to be equal parts individual study and reflection with classroom application as the primary focus (about half that in meeting time, and about half that in workshops).


******insert table1.2 Indicators of Sound Classroom Assessment Practice, page 27*****

Sound Classroom Assessment Practice=skill in gathering accurate information +effective use of information and procedures.


Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing it Right, Using it Well

Chapter 2


Assessment FOR Learning versus Assessment OF Learning

 Assessment FOR Learning = Formative Assessment

 Assessment OF Learning = Summative Assessment















****Insert Table 2.2 Comparing Assessment FOR and OF Learning

A key premise is that for students to be able to improve, they must have the capacity to monitor the quality of their own work during actual production. This in turn requires that students:

1.     Knows what high quality work looks like

2.     Be able to objectively compare their work to the standard

3.     Have a store of tactics to make work better based on their observations




  Students need to       

? Know where they are going

? Know where they are now

? Know how to close the gap

    Inside the classroom:

?    Assessment FOR and OF learning is balanced

?    Students, teachers, and parents have a need for both

 Students and teachers need the day to day information that is provided by assessment FOR learning to shape the teaching/learning process

    Outside the classroom:

? Administrators (principals, superintendents, departments of education) and the public have the most need for assessment OF learning













*******Insert Table 2.3 Purposes for Assessment (Users and Uses of) page 35*****

Assessment FOR Learning yields Intrinsic Motivation to Learn

 The effect of assessment for learning on student achievement is some four to five times greater than the effect of reduced class size.

 The largest gains accrue to the lowest achievers.

 Intrinsic Motivation to learn is supported when the learner:

? Has a sense of control and choice

? Gets frequent and specific feedback on performance

? Encounters tasks that are challenging, but not threatening

? Is able to self-assess accurately

? Encounters learning tasks related to everyday life

 Intrinsic Motivation is thwarted by:

? Coercion

? Intimidation

? Rewards or punishments linked to evaluative judgments

? Comparing one student to another

? Infrequent or vague feedback

? Limitation of personal control

? Responsibility without authority




In the case of assessment for learning, assessment becomes not only the measurer of impact, but also the innovation that causes change in student achievement.







Where Am I Going?

1.                  Provide a clear and understandable vision of the learning target.

 Share the goals prior to the task

 Make targets readable, kids’ terms

 Ask what makes the product good

 Match goals with the scoring guide

 Develop scoring criteria with student help

2.                  Use examples and models of strong and weak work.

 Use exemplars with strengths and weaknesses

 Address their common mistakes and how to avoid them

 Let students analyze the samples

 Teacher should model the process, including errors/revisions


Where Am I Now?

3.                  Offer regular descriptive feedback.

 Let practice be practice – not a grade

 Tell how they are hitting or missing the target

 Stars and stairs – what is good and what could make it better

 Narrow comments and don’t reveal every little mistake

4.                  Teach students to self-assess and set goals.

 Identify their own strengths and areas for improvement, before they turn it in for feedback

 Write in a response log at the end of class, recording key points they have learned and questions they still have

 Using established criteria, select a work sample for their portfolio that demonstrates a level of proficiency and explain why it qualifies

 Offer descriptive feedback to classmates

 Use teacher, self, and peer assessment/feedback to identify what needs work and to set future goals


How Can I Close the Gap?

5.                  Design lessons to focus on one aspect of quality at a time.

 Even if the learning target has multiple aspects, focus on the feedback for one

 Teach that all the parts must eventually come together

6.                  Teach students focused revision.

 Model the revision process for one aspect at a time

 Students revise through brainstorming and with partners

 Have students revise teacher work and make suggestions for improvement

7.                  Engage students in self-reflection, and let them keep track of and share their learning.

 Students should track, reflect on, and communicate about their progress





















Either copy from book or insert copy from PDF on disc.

CASL Chapter 3: Assess What? Clear Targets


The one question that should drive all planning and assessment is ….What is the intended learning?





  • Know what to assess
  • Clarity on what instructional activities to plan
  • Ability to balance Depth with Coverage
  • Know what your assessments truly reflect…what needs to be tweaked
  • Accountability – zero in on targets that need more work – no need for consultants to tell you what to work on – the data is there and ready
  • Ability to work collaboratively with other teachers



  • Know what the goal is
  • Know where there are going
  • Know what to self-assess
  • Know what they are accountable for



  • Know how to focus assistance
  • Provides a focus for communication
  • Understand what grades actually mean







Knowledge, facts, concepts and procedures - this includes factual underpinnings and procedural knowledge.

Some targets are KNOW OUTRIGHT and some are KNOW VIA REFERENCE.

Key verbs: recognize, describe, list, identify, recall, name, use, explain, define, label



Thinking proficiencies – using knowledge to solve a problem, make a decision,…

Reasoning targets represent mental processes such as predicts, infers, deduces, classifies, hypothesizes, compares, contrasts, concludes, summarizes, analyzes, evaluates, generalizes…

Patterns of Reasoning

  • Inductive Reasoning
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • Analytical Reasoning
  • Comparative Reasoning
  • Classifying
  • Evaluative Reasoning
  • Synthesis



Behavioral demonstrations

Where the “doing” is what is important

Using knowledge and reasoning to perform skillfully



Where the characteristics of the final product are most important

Using knowledge, reasoning, and skills to produce a final product



Students’ attitudes about school and learning

Mr. Fisher's Blog
Ricky Fisher's Blog Page
CASL Notes Blog
Posted 10/13/2010 at 2:14:27 PM by Ricky Fisher [staff member]
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