Assessment Resources

Belief Statements 
Student Assessment and Learning

  1. Assessment serves three purposes:  assessment FOR, AS, and OF learning.
    • Assessment FOR learning is the ongoing analysis of the student’s learning and is designed to give teachers information to plan, modify, and differentiate teaching
    • Assessment AS learning engages students to become independent and lifelong learners. Teachers teach students to self-assess, peer-assess, and use descriptive feedback
    • Assessment OF learning is the measurement and documentation of achievement for the purpose of reporting. Assessment must be balanced -  including oral, performance, and written tasks and be flexible in order to improve learning for all learners
  2. Assessment is an integral part of effective planning, learning and teaching.
    • Assessment goals are consistent with Provincial standards and direction
    • Assessment must allow for ongoing student and teacher reflection that guides learning and teaching
  3. Assessment is an ongoing, continuous process.
    • Assessment includes the use of peer-assessment and self-assessment
    • Assessment involves reflection
    • Assessment provides specific and descriptive feedback
    • Instruction is adjusted as a result of assessment information
  4. Assessment involves clear communication of goals, expectations and criteria.
    • Communication occurs between teachers, students, and parents
    • Communication summarizes what students know, can do and understand
    • Feedback must be timely, dynamic, frequent, and meaningful.
  5. Assessment involves students to encourage their success and growth.
    • Assessment uses  goal and criteria setting
    • Students are able to describe their learning progress
    • Students can plan the next steps they need to take to improve their learning
  6. Assessment respects, reflects, and identifies the varied developmental needs of all learners.
    • Assessment establishes a baseline of prior knowledge
    • Assessment addresses the developmental characteristics of the students and considers their learning styles and intelligences
    • Assessment considers the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual characteristics of the students
    • Assessment considers the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the students
    • Assessment recognizes the need for accommodations, adaptations, and modifications
    • Assessment feedback is constructive and the focus must be on the learning rather than the learner
  7. Assessment practices must be based on current research into best practices and allows for teacher innovation.
    • The most effective assessment/grading practices provide  accurate, specific  and timely feedback designed to improve student performance
    • Effective assessment practices require ongoing professional development on the part of the teacher
    • Assessment literate teachers require  knowledge and skills to assess for learning
    • Assessment is a critical part of teachers’ reflection and ongoing refinement of practice
    • Action research can have a significant impact on teacher assessment practices and innovation
  8. Assessment must be fair and equitable.
    • Assessment is differentiated and therefore provides students with sufficient opportunity to demonstrate knowledge, skills, attitudes, or behaviours
    • Effective assessment ensures the use of grading practices that accurately represent student performance
    • Effective assessment is designed and developed in ways that ensure reliability and validity and minimize distortion and bias

Our Beliefs About Assessment

  1. Assessment serves three purposes:  assessment FOR, AS, and OF learning.
    • Assessment FOR learning is the ongoing analysis of the student’s learning and is designed to give teachers information to plan, modify, and differentiate teaching
    • Assessment AS learning engages students to become independent and lifelong learners. Teachers teach students to self-assess, peer-assess, and use descriptive feedback
    • Assessment OF learning is the measurement and documentation of achievement for the purpose of reporting. Assessment must be balanced -  including oral, performance, and written tasks and be flexible in order to improve learning for all learners
  2. Assessment is an integral part of effective planning, learning and teaching.
    • Assessment goals are consistent with Provincial standards and direction
    • Assessment must allow for ongoing student and teacher reflection that guides learning and teaching
  3. Assessment is an ongoing, continuous process.
    • Assessment includes the use of peer-assessment and self-assessment
    • Assessment involves reflection
    • Assessment provides specific and descriptive feedback
    • Instruction is adjusted as a result of assessment information
  4. Assessment involves clear communication of goals, expectations and criteria.
    • Communication occurs between teachers, students, and parents
    • Communication summarizes what students know, can do and understand
    • Feedback must be timely, dynamic, frequent, and meaningful.
  5. Assessment involves students to encourage their success and growth.
    • Assessment uses  goal and criteria setting
    • Students are able to describe their learning progress
    • Students can plan the next steps they need to take to improve their learning
  6. Assessment respects, reflects, and identifies the varied developmental needs of all learners.
    • Assessment establishes a baseline of prior knowledge
    • Assessment addresses the developmental characteristics of the students and considers their learning styles and intelligences
    • Assessment considers the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual characteristics of the students
    • Assessment considers the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the students
    • Assessment recognizes the need for accommodations, adaptations, and modifications
    • Assessment feedback is constructive and the focus must be on the learning rather than the learner
  7. Assessment practices must be based on current research into best practices and allows for teacher innovation.
    • The most effective assessment/grading practices provide  accurate, specific  and timely feedback designed to improve student performance
    • Effective assessment practices require ongoing professional development on the part of the teacher
    • Assessment literate teachers require  knowledge and skills to assess for learning
    • Assessment is a critical part of teachers’ reflection and ongoing refinement of practice
    • Action research can have a significant impact on teacher assessment practices and innovation
  8. Assessment must be fair and equitable.
    • Assessment is differentiated and therefore provides students with sufficient opportunity to demonstrate knowledge, skills, attitudes, or behaviours
    • Effective assessment ensures the use of grading practices that accurately represent student performance
    • Effective assessment is designed and developed in ways that ensure reliability and validity and minimize distortion and bias

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Professional Learning

Focus Area: Building Background Knowledge

Assessment For, Of, and As Learning

  1. Assessment For, Of and As Learning - this activity is meant to provide the background information for which future areas of focus will be anchored in. The activity was provided to grade group meetings on April 17th and is also available for school use.
  2. MECY has summarized key points and excerpts from the document Assessment - For, Of and As Learning - includes descriptors and group activity to be done in trios. This is a good activity for acquiring background knowledge on the topic.


Focus Area: Strategies - Assessment for Learning

Provide a Clear and Understandable Learning Target

A PowerPoint presentation with group work activities and  embedded video clips  focus the session. The presentation highlights the 7 strategies of assessment for learning and focuses on the first of the seven strategies - Clear Targets. The information in this segment is the cornerstone to beginning assessment for learning practices. It covers the types of learning targets and the research behind the effectiveness of communicating and connecting daily classroom activities with the intended learning outcomes.

The assessment committee member for each of the Portage la Prairie Schools has a copy of this presentation.

For a condensed version without the videos click here.

Provide Samples of Strong and Weak Work and Set Criteria with Students

Setting Criteria - two practical activities designed to take teachers through the process of setting criteria with students and the pedagogy behind the strategy.

Giving Effective Descriptive Feedback

  1. This is a PowerPoint presentation  meant for Middle Years and High School audiences - with embedded video and small group activities.  It takes a look at the research on giving quality feedback, compares different types of feedback and includes some practical tasks and suggestions for further learning. handouts 1, 2, 3
  2. This is the Early Years PowerPoint presentation - the first half focuses on the "what" and "why" of effective descriptive feedback and include video clips from the experts and school related research.  The second half focuses on the "how" of  descriptive feedback.  Several practical classroom applications are explored.

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Questions and Answers About Assessment

How do I confidently determine for each student which assessment data provides the most accurate sample to be used to represent their achievement?

Answer

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How can I build intrinsic motivation in students?

Answer

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How do we better include students in understanding the outcomes?

Answer

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How do we get teachers, parents and kids on board if it is not dictated/supported by the province?

Answer

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How do I get my students more involved and engaged in their learning?

Answer

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What are the benefits of descriptive feedback?

Answer

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How do I know what my students are capable of if I always have to provide support to them?

Answer

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How can self-assessment be more meaningful?

Answer

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How does this view of assessment connect with the government's desire for assessment of standards and standardized testing? How involved is the province (MB Ed) in these ideas? Should this be a new mandate?

Answer

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How should I respond to a parent that says I should be marking all student work for the report card?

Answer

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Assessment Links

Manitoba Education

Rethinking Assessment With Purpose in Mind

Assessing, Evaluating, and Reporting on Student Progress - MEd - see students "give and get descriptive feedback" on this link where it outlines some key guidelines in giving good descriptive feedback applicable for both students and teachers.

Videos - descriptive feedback and goal setting

Formative Assessment

Assessment for Learning - Anne Davies website of resources.

Performance Assessments, Rubrics and Exemplars - exemplars.com. website resource - Exemplars pioneered the field of performance assessment tasks that meet national standards (Cdn and American) to improve assessment and instruction. , Exemplars began by assisting educators using K-8 mathematics problems and assessments that met Standards. We added Mathematics 9-12 two years later. Due to the popularity of math, we started publishing Science K-8 in 1997. RWR Exemplars (Reading, Writing and Research in the Content Areas) was published for grades 5-8 in 1999. Exemplars materials are now used by educators in 50 states and 20 countries.

Develop Rubrics: learn more about how to create quality rubrics and generate them online for your subject area rubrics, rubric generators.

Assessing Student Outcomes: for both formative and summative assessment purposes a usable assessment method for teachers is to provide a rubric for student use. Another is to provide some type of graphic organizer. In this website you will find a collection of assessment rubrics and graphic organizers that may be helpful to you as you design your own. Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators

Assessment Resources for Teachers: an index of authentic assessment resources. You are one click away from vital information about performance assessment, rubrics, negotiable contracting, and electronic portfolios. We include links to web based tools for creating your own assessments. Authentic Assessment

Formative Assessment in Secondary School: (video) Formative assessment is increasingly seen as underpinning effective teaching and learning. In this program, Paul Black and Chris Harrison, authors of the influential pamphlet Working Inside the Black Box, outline what they see as the key features of formative assessment. They focus on effective questioning, peer and self-assessment, feedback and marking.

Focus on Effectiveness: Research Based Strategies Connecting research recommendations to practice can improve instruction. These key research-based strategies have impact on student achievement—helping all students, in all kinds of classrooms. Strategies are organized into categories of familiar practices in order to help you fine-tune your teaching to improve student achievement.(section on Descriptive Feedback relates directly to Assessment "for" Learning

Grading and Reporting

Zero Realities - Notes on a Blackboard ideas and starter strategies for discussion based on the work by Ken O'Conner

How to Grade for Learning - Ken O'Connor podcast - (60 min) PowerPoint Slides (scroll down page to find the link to his PowerPoint and bio.

Dylan Wiliam's Website - presentations, podcasts, papers on assessment practices and assessment for learning. Great resource for supplementing presentations for staff development or for individual learning about assessment.

NWREL - Center for Research, Evaluation and Assessment - Toolkit-'98a toolkit of training activities designed to assist classroom teachers become better assessors of student learning. -Toolkit98

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Upcoming Events

March 19, 2010

Division Wide PD (half day - a.m.) - Assessment for Learning Workshops

Early Years - Descriptive Feedback - LVS library
Middle Years - Setting Criteria - YQS Multi-purpose Room
Senior Years - Reporting - PCS building

May 4th and 5th

School Teams - Facilitator Workshop - "Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning"

June 3rd and June 8th - mornings

Grade 5 report card committee meetings - School Division Office

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Committee Members

Committee Chairs: Donna Mestdagh-Mueller and Sandi Shaw-Lyons

Brigitte Heppner (LVS)
Faye Maly (FLR)
Natalie Guimond-Low, Lisa-Marie Tessier(EAMS)
Sandi Shaw-Lyons (YQS)
Dana Pruden (PCI)
Rob Pehura (PCI)
Jennifer Borgfjord (Hutt)
Natalie Harrison, Graham Shindle (OVS)
Donna Lynn Barnett (FLR)
Marie Gauthier-Patenaude (ECVS)
Chuck Naish (LVS)
Rochelle Rands (Student Services)
Linda Thorlakson (MECY)
Megan Sloik (P.D. Rep)
Mike Mauws (Asst. Superint.)

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PERC Library Resources

Books

Setting & Using Criteria; Kathleen Gregory, Caren Cameron, Anne Davies,  Connections Publications, 1997

Creating Independent Student Learners:  A Practical Guide to Assessment for Learning N-3;
Creating Independent Student Learners:  A Practical Guide to Assessment for Learning 4-6;
Creating Independent Student Learners:  A Practical Guide to Assessment for Learning 7-9;
Pauline Clarke, Thompson Owens, Ruth Sutton, Portage & Main Press, 2006

Making Classroom Assessment Work; Anne Davies, Connections Publishing, 2007

Leading the Way to Making Classroom Assessment Work; Anne Davies, Sandra Herbst-Luedtke, and Beth Parrott Reynolds,  Connections Publishing, 2008 (on order)

Assessment for Learning: An Action Guide for School Leaders; Stephen Chappuis, Richard Stiggins, Judith Arter, Jan Chappuis, Assessment Training Institute, 2004

Formative Assessment Strategies for Every Classroom; Bookhart

Advancing Formative Assessment in Every Classroom - A Guide for Instructional Leaders; Bookhart 

Classroom Based Assessment; Bonnie Campbell Hill, Cynthia Ruptic, Lisa Norwick, Christopher-Gordon Publishers, 1998

How to Grade for Learning: Linking Grades to Standards 2nd Edition; Ken O’Connor,  Corwin Press, 2002

Understanding School Assessment: A Parent and Community Guide to Helping Students Learn; Jan and Stephen Chappuis,  Assessment Training Institute (available form dmueller@plpsd.mb.ca )

DVDs Multimedia Kits

How to Grade for Learning K-12; Multi-media kit for staff development - 3rd Edition, Ken O'Connor, Corwin Press 2009

Talk About Assessment; Strategies and Tools to Improve Learning; Damien Cooper, Thomson-Nelson, 2007 (Available from dmuelller@plpsd.mb.ca)

Talk About Assessment: High School Strategies and Tools; Damien Cooper, Thompson-Nelson, 2010 (Available from dmueller@plpsd.mb.ca )

Assessing Reasoning in the Classroom; Stiggins

Designing Performance Assessments for Learning - (Includes the book Creating and Recognizing Quality Rubrics); Stiggins

Giving Effective Feedback to Your Students; ASCD action tool
Disc 1 - Impact on Achievement
Disc 2 - Key Factors to Ensure Effective Feedback
Disc 3 - Tailoring Feedback to Content and Student Needs

Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning; Chappuis (includes Leading Professional Development in Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning(available from dmueller@plpsd.mb.ca)

Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing it Right, Using It Well; Richard Stiggins, Judith Arter, Jan Chappuis and Stephen Chappuis, Assessment Training Institute, 2004 (available from dmueller@plpsd.mb.ca)

Effective Assessment for Effective Learning: Seven Instructional Principles for Guiding Student Achievement; McTighe and Tomlinson (available soon from dmueller@plpsd.mb.ca)

 

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