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Classroom Assessments

Classroom Assessments

Author: Jessica Pavelko

To solve the problems caused by classroom assessments.

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What is a Classroom Assessment?

A classroom assessment is a formative rather than a summative approach to assessment. Its purpose is to improve the quality of student learning. It is not to provide evidence for evaluating or grading students.


A classroom assessment provides teachers with information on what, how much, and how well students are learning.These assessments are created, administered, and analyzed by teachers themselves which can be very time consuming.


Assessments are also used to provide principals with feedback about the effectiveness of their teachers.

Students and Parents

Something that is very important is that an assessment gives students a measure of their progress as learners which can allow them to own their learning by understanding the areas of improvement and celebrate in their growth.


Source: Mihram, Danielle, 1., The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School Of Public Health, and Center For Teaching And Learning With Technology. Classroom Assessment Techniques (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

Feild Experiance

Fall assessment:

Determines the levels where the students are at and placement in flex group.

Flex Group: a grouping of students within the same level of knowledge; either above, at or below grade level in math or reading

Winter Assessment:

Used to see students current growth.

Teachers can adjust where a student is placed based on this growth. Teachers look at progress/struggles within their flex group as well as continuing to use assessments to decide on the correct group for each student. They will adjust the placement of students when needed. 

Spring assessment:

Used to see the students total growth throughout the year. 

Since there is no instruction over the summer student last assessment in the spring does not always reflect where they will be placed in the fall. This is why students will "flex" between groups in a school year. This final test is used to see total growth in the school year. 

The teachers goal is create the best challenge possible for each student.

Source: Laura Tessmer Clover Ridge Elementary Teacher: 5th Grade

Types of Assessments

These types of assessments are used for assessing prior knowledge, recall, and understanding of the students.

Background Knowledge Probe 

  • Are short, simple questionnaires prepared by instructors at the beginning of a course, at the start of a new unit or lesson, or prior to introducing an important new topic. 
  • Requires students to write short answers, to circle the correct responses to multiple-choice questions, or both.
  • To help teachers determine the most effective starting point for a given lesson and the most appropriate level at which to begin instruction.

The One-Minute Paper

  • Asks students to respond briefly in writing "What was the most important thing you learned during this class (today)"? " What important question remains unanswered?" 
  • Allows teachers to assess the match between their instructional goals and students' perceptions of these goals and their own learning. 
  • The teachers learns what students perceive to be their own learning problems, the likelihood that the students will receive answers to those questions during the next class period is enhanced.

The Muddiest Point

  • Asks students to jot down a quick response to the following question: "What was the muddiest point in [the lecture, the homework assignment, the reading, the film, etc.]"?
  • Provides speedy feedback on what students find least clear or most confusing.
  • This information helps faculty decide what to emphasize (more) and how much time to spend on topics
  • Also quickly assess what they do not understand and must be able to articulate their confusion (which is itself a complex and useful skill).


Source: Mihram, Danielle, 1., The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School Of Public Health, and Center For Teaching And Learning With Technology. Classroom Assessment Techniques (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

Problems with these Methods



  • The use of tests and answer sheets creates an excuses use of paper.
  • With more paper there are more items to account for: what do you do if it gets lost before grading and recording?
  • The results are not very secure: What if the assessment falls into the wrong hands?


  • Grading assessments is time consuming.
  • Once graded teachers need to find a way to interpret the results. 
  • They also need to find a method for tracking growth of their students throughout the year. 


  • They need to find a way to analyzing the results of each teachers students to see the effectiveness of teachers.

Students and Parents

  • They only see the grade they receive on their test or paper.
  • They don't have the tools to see the bigger picture of their growth as a student.
  • They may miss out on knowing the specific areas where they could still improve on.


Technology Solutions


Founded by educators nearly 40 years ago, Northwest Evaluation Association™ (NWEA™) is a global not-for-profit educational services organization known for our flagship interim assessment, Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®). 

Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) creates a personalized assessment experience by adapting to each student’s learning level—precisely measuring student progress and growth for each individual. You’ll have essential information about what each student knows and is ready to learn within 24 hours. 

Source: "Educational Assessment That Helps Kids Learn | NWEA." NWEA. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2015.

How does this Educational Technology solve some of the problems with Classroom Assessments?

"Based on over 30 years of solid research, our computer adaptive interim assessments do more than create personalized test experiences for every student: they provide the most stable scale and data in the assessment industry."  


Identify concepts students are ready to learn, and group students for instruction.

Use this personalized instruction in order to maximize every student’s academic growth.

Measure the growth of every student over time regardless of on, above, or below grade level performance—and even if standards change.

Teachers get the quick, focused information that they need to guide daily classroom decisions, as well as the instructional resources that help each student master the specific skills they need to be successful. 


Track the achievement and growth of individual students and classrooms and help evaluate the success of your teachers and programs.

Understand the progress of every student, classroom, and school in your district.

Create and reinforce evidence-informed instructional practices.

Evaluate programs and identify professional development needs.

Students and Parents

Students can work with their teachers to set learning goals and celebrate growth.

Families understand their child’s learning goals and progress — as well as how the right at-home activities can help boost school success.

Parents can be reassured that the testing is fair for their children. If their child answers a question correctly, the test follows up with a more challenging question. If they answers incorrectly, the test follows up with an easier question. 

NWEA cares about data privacy, and cannot provide information about individual student assessment results.




Source: "Educational Assessment That Helps Kids Learn | NWEA." NWEA. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2015.

Why is this important to me?

This educational technology solution is important to me because I want to know exactly what my students need more help in and how to help my students grow academically throughout the school year.


There are so many benefits to using a tool like this for classroom assessments. There are other tools available and I recommend checking them out. A few examples that I also looked into was EdModo where teachers, students, and parents are connecting to collaborate on assignments, discover new resources, and more! Another one is Plickers which helps teachers to tailor their instruction with instant feedback: quick checks for understanding to know whether your students are understanding big concepts and mastering key skills.

These tools allow teachers more time to understand where their students need help, allows more time to administration to understand how effective their teachers are and allows students to own their learning. They can see where they have made growth and now exactly what they need to work on. Parents are able to have a better understanding of the growth of their child’s learning.

These tools also eliminate the problems that arise with paperwork. They save trees (saving money in the long run) and create a secure location for confidential information about their students.

Finally, an added benefit is that these tools help teachers by providing more resources based on their classrooms needs.

Links to the Educations Technology Tools Mentioned