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.
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.
Guideline: The teacher is not an island unto himself or herself. Other colleagues, including district and regional specialists in assessment, are valuable resources for teachers when creating formative assessments.
This Education Northwest resource offers lessons on how collaborative strategies can help teachers improve instruction in their classroom.
This article authored by Douglas Fisher, Diane Lapp, and James Flood, describes how teachers can "work together improve their understanding of content and performance standards, collaborate to assess student work, work together to plan instruction, and re-teach content as necessary."
Professional learning communities offer teachers a way to interact and collaborate with their colleagues on instructional issues. This North Carolina Department of Public Instruction resource offers an overview of professional learning communities and explores what they are, why they are important, and how they are created.
This SEDL website provides an overview of professional learning communities.
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.
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.
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.