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: The principal and teachers comprise a learning community focused on blending formative assessment with instruction. Teachers using formative assessment can share their experiences and practices with colleagues less engaged with formative assessment. Talking about formative assessment during staff meetings and in the teachers' lounge is a good starting place.
This Maryland Department of Education online workshop reviews how to plan an examination of student work and lead a team through the process. Its focus is on teachers collaborating to examine student work. Though oriented toward the Maryland state assessment system, the content may be useful for all teachers.
This link to the Looking at Student Work website provides teachers with resources for revieiwng student work.
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.
Individual group members often have divergent viewpoints. Turf issues can arise between group members and groups within a school, district, or community. This document offers a basic guide for addressing turf issues when they arise.
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.