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: Formative assessments enable teachers to assess how well students understand the concepts being taught. In addition to being used in pre- and post-lesson situations, formative assessments are most useful when used informally as teachers adjust instruction in response to how well students are grasping the lesson concepts.
This National Council of Teachers of Mathematics research brief offers guidance on when to use formative assessment in the classroom.
Authored by Dr. Tracey Hall, this Center for Applied Special Technology article provides an overview of curriuclum-based evaluations and their classroom application.
This National Council of Teachers of Mathematics research brief offers five key strategies for effective formative assessment. It gives teachers insights on when and how to use formative assessment.
This article from The Council Chronicle, published by the National Council of Teachers of English, emphasizes the feedback loop between the teacher and student and gives examples of formative assessments being used in the classroom.
This link is to the Research Institute on Progress Monitoring. As noted at its website, "The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has funded the Research Institute on Progress Monitoring to develop a system of progress monitoring to evaluate effects of individualized instruction on access to and progress within the general education curriculum. The Institute is housed at the Institute on Community Integration and the Department of Educational Psychology, Special Education in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. Iowa State University for Science and Technology is a lead collaborator in this research."
Developed with funding from The Meadows Foundation and the Texas Education Agency, Effective Instruction for Middle School Students with Reading Difficulties: The Reading Teacher's Sourcebook offers middle school reading teachers an overview of research-based instructional approaches for teaching struggling readers. Chapter Two: Selecting and Administering Assessments reviews how different assessment tools can be used in the classroom.
This link is to the Research Institute on Progress Monitoring (RIPM) funded by the OESP (Office of Special Education Programs).
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.