Learning Goals

Rubrics (Scales)



PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS (Initial Teacher Education (ITE)) WEBSITES 

Authentic Assessment in Professional Experience (Australia)

Project Evidence (Australia)



ARTICLES - Assessment

4 Tips to Build Student Confidence by Matt Levinson (Edutopia)

Doodling Helps Memories Stick by Katrina Schwartz (Mind/Shift). How to use doodling as a tool for note-taking, assessment. Research shows doodling may improve students' listening skills and help them make connections to their learning. This blog post highlights how two educators implemented doodling as a tool for note-taking and formative assessments by having students draw their notes and then share them with classmates to fill in gaps. 

Getting to the essence of assessment by Geoff Masters (ACER). Assessments in education can be made, interpreted and used in different ways, but all serve the same fundamental purpose.

Helping students self assess by Pauline Zdonek (SmartBlog)

Improving your grading policy in three steps by Jasper Fox Snr (ASCD). "By partnering with students and viewing learning as a fluid endeavor, you and your students can chart a unique path toward a greater understanding of the content in a more friendly and effective manner," writes ASCD Emerging Leader Jasper Fox Sr. In a recent Inservice post, Fox shares three steps that work in any subject or grade level and provide students with more ownership of their learning. 

It’s time to throw out grades by Starr Sackstein (SmartBlog). Schools should throw out grades in order to engage students in more meaningful learning experiences, writes high-school English teacher Starr Sackstein. In this blog post, she asserts that teachers should have "students reflect on what they feel they learned and ask for evidence of what they suggest in their work." 

Personalizing Assessments With Time In Mind by Andrew Miller (ASCD Inservice).

Refocusing assessment on teaching and learning by Jessica Slusser (SmartBlog). Refocusing Assessment on Teaching and Learning: Expert Interview with Ken Tam. Assessment. Some might consider it a "bad word." But measuring growth and gaining insight to improve instruction is critical. Learn how new technology can turn assessment into a "good word" by meeting multiple needs and minimizing the time students spend taking tests.

Report urges revamping student testing by John Fensterwald (EdSource). Schools should focus more on ongoing, "formative" assessments, rather than annual standardized testing, according to a recent report. The report also supports more flexibility for states to design accountability systems and more effective funding strategies. 

Students 'Self-Assess' Their Way to Learning. Can students learn more by assessing their progress? by Jaclyn Zubrzyckiby (EdWekk). Some schools are converting content standards and goals into language that students can understand and apply to their work as a form of daily formative assessment and to improve student engagement. In EL, formerly known as Expeditionary Learning, students are taught to use tools such as rubrics and how to track and analyze their own academic data. 

The basics of test score reliability for educators by Catherine Close (Renaissance Learning). Trustworthy assessments are often described as being "reliable." This new blog post from Catherine Close, PhD, will give you the key to understanding the numbers used to cite levels of reliability in assessments. You'll get a quick overview of five types of reliability and establish which is most relevant to your testing situation. 




Can We Get Beyond Letter Grades? by M. Jon Dean (ASCD). Even when school structures and teaching methods have been transformed, letter grades may remain a sacred cow.

Field Notes: The Day I Ditched Points by Charity C. Stephens (ASCD). "Without points to chase and only words to guide us, we begin to seek knowledge and truly embrace what it means to grow as learners," writes teacher Charity C. Stephens. In her recent ASCD Express article, Stephens explained why and how she eliminated points as a means of communicating student understanding throughout a unit of study. She outlines a four-step process for other educators who want to leave the point system behind. 

Grades Do More Harm Than Good by Chris Couch (Huff Post). "Teachers feel compelled to "grade," (the verb form) any and all student work, believing that a letter or percentage will indicate to students and parents a measure of skill."

Grades should reward students at their best by Andrew Miller (ASCD). "Grading policies that reward students at their best create students who are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged!" writes ASCD author Andrew Miller. In a recent Inservice post, Miller explains why educators should reward students at their best, and not punish them in the learning process. 

Making the Grade: What Benefits Students? by Thomas R. Guskey and Thomas R. Guskey (ASCD). Although the debate over grading and reporting practices continues, today we know which practices benefit students and encourage learning.

My Problems with Letter Grades in School by Howard Pitler (ASCD). "We need to move to a different, more responsive [grading] system," writes ASCD author Howard Pitler in this Inservice blog post. "Letter grades are what we know -- educators and parents alike -- but they are just an artifact of education, not of the wider world," he continues. Pitler refers to research that shows letter grades have a detrimental effect on students and explains that he believes educators must find a better way to evaluate student achievement. 

Panel: Ditch Grades Now, Focus on Student Learning by David Nagel (The Journal). Should educators stop giving grades, tests? Educator Mark Barnes called for no more grades, tests and homework during a recent panel where he reflected on his shift to this method. "What everybody started seeing was an incredible environment that was a little bit messy, a little bit chaotic, but was a place that was rich with independent learning," he said.

Three Benefits Of Using Grades Less by Jasper Fox Sr.(ASCD). In this Inservice blog post, science teacher Jasper Fox, Sr., shares ways that using numerical grades less, and instead giving timely and descriptive written feedback and allowing chances for reiteration with the material, can provide students with meaningful opportunities to truly learn. He has found that this approach promotes self-awareness in students, provides opportunities to build understanding, and establishes positive school/student relationships. 



WEBSITES - Formative Assessment

Dylan (look for 'PODCASTS': video etc)

Formative Assessment from Northwest Evaluation Association

ARTICLES - Formative Assessment

Highly recommended: ASCD 'INSERVICE': Formative Assessment

Highly recommended: UNDERSTANDING FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT: A SPECIAL REPORT (Education Week). "Formative assessment is one of the most widely used—but poorly understood—instructional techniques. This special report highlights common misconceptions about the approach and shows how formative assessment differs from other kinds of assessments, such as summative or benchmark tests. It also illuminates some ways that educators can use formative assessment in their classrooms to find out on the spot whether students are really "getting it.""

The Best Value in Formative Assessment by Stephen Chappuis and Jan Chappuis (ASCD) 

The Bridge Between Today's Lesson and Tomorrow's by Carol Ann Tomlinson (ASCD) (Formative Assessment)

Three ways to incorporate formative assessment into every classroom. "No one change has the potential to improve education for all students as increasing the use of formative assessment in our classrooms," writes Jasper Fox Sr. in this Inservice blog post. "This technique informs future instruction as opposed to summarizing it before moving on." Fox shares his top three tips for incorporating formative assessment into the classroom, including worrying less about grades, spending more time communicating, and focusing on growth. 

Five Principles for Formative Assessments That Fuel Feedback by Tim Westerberg (ASCD). "Feedback that affects learning is planned in alignment with these research-based guidelines for effectiveness," writes school improvement coach Tim Westerberg. In a recent ASCD Express article, Westerberg explains that Formative assessments provide the feedback on student learning that guides teacher and student adjustments during learning. He states that if teachers want the information gathered by these formative tools to have the most impact on student learning, they must design classroom assessments with five principles in mind. 

Educators Evaluate Array of Formative Testing Products. Educators are evaluating an array of testing and curricular products and services to see what works by Michele Molnar

Learning to Love Assessment by Carol Ann Tomlinson (ASCD). From judging performance to guiding students to shaping instruction to informing learning, coming to grips with informative assessment is one insightful journey.

Making Grading Personal, and More Enjoyable by Marie Levey-Pabst (Education Week Teacher)

Should Formative Assessments Be Graded? by Liana Heitin. Four experts offer their takes on the question and suggest some alternatives.

Using formative tools for better project results by Suzie Boss (SmartBlog). Project-based learning is a great opportunity to integrate formative assessments, education writer Suzie Boss says in this blog post. She highlights the benefits of formative assessment and offers several tools and strategies to make it successful, such as asking students to conduct regular self-assessments.

Why Ability Grouping Doesn't Work by Peter DeWitt (Education Week). Formative assessment expert takes on ability grouping. Formative assessment expert Shirley Clarke in this blog post focuses on the shortcomings of ability grouping in the classroom, calling for a different approach. She highlights alternatives such as the Deliberate Practice bull's-eye chart, which helps students move through three learning zones. 



PDF - Formative Assessment

Classroom Assessment and Grading That Work by Robert Marzano (pdf-48 pages)

Formative and Summative Assessments in the Classroom by Catherine Garrison & Michael Ehringhaus



STRATEGIES - Formative Assessment



ABACUS EDUCATIONAL SUPPLIES: (view the catalogue online (eg Middle School) via the Home Page and search "student whiteboards" OR download the catalogue; their main search window on their website is ordinary).

MODERN TEACHING AIDS: search "student whiteboards"



Alternative: "I have found another option for the ‘stoplight’ idea. That was to laminate 3 coloured cards (red, yellow & green) and to layer/join them on a ring. Students can have the coloured card on the top rather than the coloured cup. This may help with storage and transport between classes. I like that the cups sit high, but this may be an alternative." (Kelly)

Commercial: K-MART - $2/pack 24



Commercial site for 'blank playing cards':

ABACUS EDUCATIONAL SUPPLIES: (view the catalogue online (eg Middle School) via the Home Page and search 'blank playing cards' OR download the catalogue; their main search window on their website is ordinary).

MODERN TEACHING AIDS: search 'blank playing cards'



VIDEO - Formative Assessment

Assessment for learning - Dylan Wiliam (UK)

Assessment strategies - Dylan Wiliam (UK)

Formative assessment - Dylan Wiliam (UK)

Self and peer assessment - Dylan Wiliam (UK)

The Classroom Experiment (Ep.1) - Dylan Wiliam (UK)

The Classroom Experiment (Ep.2) - Dylan Wiliam (UK)

See also: The six secrets of a happy classroom by Gerard Gilbert (Independent UK). Professor Dylan Wiliam is convinced his simple but unorthodox ideas can help children to learn better. So he put them to the test for a term in a real class – with extraordinary results.



VIDEO - Formative Assessment: Teaching Tips

The Stoplight Method: An End-of-Lesson Assessment (Teaching Channel)




Keeping Learning on Track (Dylan Wiliam)




Exam Wrappers by Sierra Mistieque Freeman (Stanford). Exam wrappers are quick quiz-type questionnaires to help students reflect on what they got wrong on the test and create a plan to improve on the next one.

Exam Wrappers in Chemistry (Georgia Tech). Exam wrappers are a tool geared toward helping students reflect on their approach to studying for an exam, how effective it was and what (if anything) needs to change for them to be more successful or maintain their success. 

Teaching From the Test: Exam Wrappers by Constance Harris (Purdue University). Exam wrappers promote the development of self-regulated learning by prompting students to reflect, compare, and modify their learning strategies.



'TWO-STAGE EXAMS' and Formative Assessment

Turn an exam into a learning experience with two-stage exams by Carl Wieman (Stanford). The two-stage exam is a relatively simple way to introduce collaborative learning and formative assessment into an exam.

“BREAKING BAD” – ENCOURAGING TWO-STAGE EXAMS IN SCIENCE CLASSROOMS by Chad Atkins. As dictated by the name, a two-stage exam happens in, well… two stages. The first stage – which is typically weighted to be worth ≥75% of the final mark – is written individually like a traditional exam and accounts for 2/3rd of the scheduled exam timeslot. The questions on this exam are then closely replicated in a new exam handed out for completion during the second stage, except this second iteration is written in small groups of 4 or 5 with the remaining 1/3rd of the time and accounting for the remaining percentage of marks. The group discusses the questions and are required to come to a consensus as only one copy gets handed in per group with all team members receiving the same mark. 



Formative Assessment Webinar Series  Learn how formative assessment can impact student growth and increase teacher effectiveness. In three compelling sessions, international formative assessment expert Dylan Wiliam explains the foundation and value of his approach.    

  • Understanding Formative Assessment & Why it Needs to Be a Priority for Every School 
  • Practical Techniques for Implementing Formative Assessment 
  • How to Sustain the Development of Formative Assessment Using Teacher Learning Communities 

Grading Smarter, Not Harder: Assessment Strategies That Motivate Kids and Help Them Learn by Myron Dueck (ASCD). Do your students' grades accurately reflect the extent of their learning? Do your grading practices contribute to students' motivation and success? In this thought-provoking archived webinar, join Myron Dueck, author of the ASCD best-selling book "Grading Smarter, Not Harder," to look at how you might improve your grading and assessment practices. During this hour-long presentation, Dueck addresses homework, alternative assessment, eliminating late penalties and zeroes, and the I Know I Am Close multiple-choice approach. 

Teaching Students to Reflect on Personal Learning with Starr Sackstein (ASCD). Reflection is a powerful tool that when placed in the hands of students can allow for a depth of understanding that teacher feedback alone cannot provide. In this archived webinar, join National Board Certified Teacher Starr Sackstein, author of the ASCD Arias "Teaching Students to Self-Assess: How do I help students reflect and grow as learners?" to understand how and why reflection needs to be a part of learning, especially to develop independent thinkers and learners. 










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