Part I: Key Concepts

Measuring what students know and can do is an essential part of teaching, and, like much of teaching, designing assessments that measure what we want them to measure is sophisticated work. The first three modules provide an introduction to classroom assessment design, focusing on key concepts such as the five elements of assessment design, validity, reliability, purposes of assessment, and assessment items. By completing all of the modules, you will be able to plan, write and select assessments in which you are confident and that give you a clear sense of what your students are learning.

​This content is part of the Assessment Design Toolkit spotlight.

1. Introduction to Assessment Design

Introduction
By the end of this module, you should be able to define several key terms and concepts that are foundational to this series of modules—including what the modules identify as five elements of assessment design and validity and reliability—and explain why teachers should focus on these five elements of assessment design and not the statistical concepts associated with validity and reliability as researchers and test makers apply them. You will also be able to explain the purpose of two tools that the Toolkit introduces: an assessment blueprint template and an assessment blueprint filled out with an example.

 

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Conclusion
Now that you’ve finished the module and met the objectives, let’s move on to others.

 


2. Purposes of Assessment

Introduction
Now that you’ve had a chance to view the introductory module and learn or get a refresher on some important terms, let’s discuss the multiple purposes of assessment.

By the end of this module, you should be able to identify the different purposes of assessment and understand how to use the assessment blueprint to document the primary purpose of an assessment.

 

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Conclusion
You are well on your way to becoming a master designer of assessments. The next module focuses on the types of items you can use when you design assessments, such as selected response, constructed response and performance tasks. Let’s move on to this or other modules of your choosing.

 


3. Types of Assessment Items

Introduction
This module focuses on the types of assessment items teachers design all the time.

By the end of this module, you should be able to identify, describe and tell the difference between three different types of assessment items.

 

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Conclusion
We’ve finished our discussion of assessment items. Now that we’ve reviewed or built our understanding of the purposes of assessment and the types of assessment items, we’re ready to apply that knowledge to the five elements of assessment design that we discussed in the first module.