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.
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.
Guideline: Progress reporting to students and parents is critical to the feedback loop for formative assessment. However, feedback is more than just passing along assessment results. Parents and students need to know the student's strengths and weaknesses associated with subject content and how to improve identified weak areas. Additionally, teachers need to be cognizant of how and what they communicate to students and parents. Special attention must be given to communicating with parents whose primary language is not English.
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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.