The Classroom Assessment KnowledgeBase

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.

Task 1: Identify the Types of Formative Assessment

Guideline: Many types of formative assessments are available for use in the classroom. Examples include question and answer sessions related to the lesson, short tests and quizzes, projects, skills assessments, observation of performance, and simulations. The teacher's task is to understand how to use each approach effectively within the context of a specific lesson plan.

Forms of Classroom Assessment

This resource from the Ohio Department of Education's Instructional Management System provides examples of classroom assessments regularly developed and used by teachers.

Formative Assessment - A Process, Not a Test

This Education Week article by noted educator W. James Popham explains how formative assessment should be viewed an intructional process and not as a test.

Formative Assessment: Examples of Practice

This link is to a paper providing examples and non-examples of formative assessment practice. The paper is a CCSSO work product initiated and led by E. Caroline Wylie of the Education Testing Service.

Student Self-Evaluation: What the Research Says and What Practice Shows

This article at the Center for Development and Learning website reviews the research and practice on student self-evaluation.

Middle School Matters: Formative Assessment

This link to the Association for Middle Level Education provides a series of articles discussin aspects of formative assessment for middle school students.

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

Activity 2: Define Formative Assessment

Activity 3: Determine the Objectives for the Assessment

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

Activity 2: Evaluate Pre-existing Assessments

Activity 3: Develop Own Assessment

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

Activity 2: Score the Assessment

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

Activity 2: Inform and Collect Feedback from Constituencies

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

Activity 2: Make Adjustments to the Assessment