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Classroom Assessment KnowledgeBase

This KnowledgeBase archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.

The Classroom Assessment KnowledgeBase is an online resource for state departments of education to use as part of their professional development efforts with districts and schools. Organized around five elements, it brings together concepts, how-to guidance, tools, and resources about classroom assessment.

Task 2: Understand the Rationale for Formative Assessment

Guideline: To be willing practitioners of ongoing formative assessment, district and school staff members must grasp the rationale for including the tool as part of the assessment process. Possessing this understanding enables the staff members to embrace, apply, and speak knowledgeably about formative assessment.

Practical Tips

Formative Assessment: An Enabler of Learning

This Assessment and Accountability Comprehensive Center brief on formative assesssment explains how it is used to improve student learning.


Formative Assessment: Not Just Another Test

This WestEd article explains how formative assessment is a process to help teachers understand their students learning progress.

Helping Students Understand Assessment

In this Educational Leadership article, author Jan Chappius offers seven strategies designed to help students better understand learning goals, recognize their own skill level in relation to the goals, and take responsibility for reaching the goals.

Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment

In this 1998 article, Black and Wiliam present evidence pointing out the usefulness of formative assessment for raising the standards of classroom achievement. In it, they emphasize that formative assessment is the most effective tool for improving student achievement.

Putting Testing in Perspective: It's for Learning

In this article, Rick Stiggins and Stephen Chappuis suggest an approach to formative assessment within the context of assessment for learning. As an instuctional tool, true formative assessment will bring teachers and students together every step of the way.

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and are intended for general reference purposes only. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education or the Center, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Some resources on this site require Adobe Acrobat Reader. This website archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.