If you are looking for help on developing assessment tools for your
problem or project based unit, this page will give you guidance.
Once you've selected an activity that matches your classroom curriculum
and have identified which learning standards this lesson will be addressing,
the next important step is planning how you will assess student learning.
Assessment should be an evaluative tool that measures student achievement
of those standards.
- "The key to effective performance and valid scoring
is setting standards and criteria in advance."
Research Corporation, 17 July 2004)
- Once you have selected a valid scoring standard clearly
communicate what this is to the students and parents before
the project begins.
1. Download this Worksheet
Download this worksheet to help you record notes about your assessment tools
for this activity.
2. Develop Your Assessment Tools
||Read this Article
Read the article "Choose
a Set of Content Standards and Develop Your Performance Descriptions
and Expectations" (17 July 2004) which was
written by RMC Research Corporation with a grant from the
US Department of Education.
According to this article, they state that there are four
kinds of standards:
- concepts and information (what students should know)
- skills (what students should be able to do)
- communication (how students can articulate concepts and
- transfer (how they can apply information and skills in
new ways or to different subject matters)
Share with your group the answers to these questions:
- Describe how you would use a holistic rubric in your classroom. Which
of the four standards are you measuring with this rubric?
- Describe how you would use a analytic or trait rubric in your classroom.
Which of the four standards are you measuring with this rubric?
||Include Formative Assessment
Historically we have used summative measures for assessing
student achievement (e.g. multiple choice questions that test content
knowledge), but studies are showing that we should also include
formative assessments so that process thinking of the students is
US Department of Education has published an article "What
Are Promising Ways to Assess Student Learning?" (17
July 2004) and lists examples of performance assessments that
we can use:
- Open-ended or constructed response items
(students construct their answer that may have multiple good answers)
- Performance-based items or events
(questions, tasks, or activities that require students to perform
- Projects or experiments
(extended performance tasks that may take several days or even
several weeks to complete)
(collections of student work that show teachers and others who
may "score" portfolios the range and quality of student work over
a period of time and in various content areas)
||Find and Adapt Assessments for this
Now that you have identified the kinds of assessment tools
you can use to measure student achievement, the next step is either
creating or finding and adapting assessment tools for your project.
||Evaluating Student Knowledge
Before you use this assessment tool to measure student learning,
- Have a colleague read your assessment to see if it clearly
measures the learning standards and goals for this project (does
it make sense to them?).
- Involve the students in determining what should be included
in the assessment. Students should have some decision-making
role and should be actively involved with the assessment process.
- Clearly communicate how this project will be assessed to the
students and parents before the project begins.