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Assessment Design Toolkit

Let's move away from asking, "What assessment should I use?" to "What information do I need?"

Understanding the Goals & Types


When thinking about assessment for instructional planning and assessing the outcome of instruction, there are four main goals that need to be understood: (Torgesen, J.K. 2006)


  • to identify students who are 'at risk' for reading difficulties.

  • to monitor students' progress during the year to determine whether students are making adequate progress.

  • to collect information from students that will give insight into the students' strengths and weaknesses.

  • to assess whether the instruction provided was successful in helping all students meet standards.


There are four main types of assessments that correspond to the four goals discussed above:


  • Universal screening (identify): Answers the question, "Which of my students are at-risk for difficulty?"

  • Progress monitoring (monitor): Answers the question, "How much progress are my students making?"

  • Diagnostic (collect): Answers the question, "Where do I need to focus intervention?"

  • Outcome (assess): Answers the question, "Have my students learned the material that has been taught?"

                                               From "Assessment Competency: How to obtain the right

                                                    information to improve data-driven instruction", Elizabeth Brooke




Helpful Links and Videos from the NJ DOE

Literature on Assessment

Rethinking Grading by Cathy Vatterott

Transformative Assessment by James Popham

How to Create & Use Rubrics for Formative Assessment by James Popham

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