Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Social Studies In Action A Methodology Workshop, K-5.
  Site Map. Glossary.
Session 7.

Assessing Students' Learning


Key Concepts

Formal assessment

Informal assessment

Ongoing assessment

Culminating assessment

Performance assessment

Authentic assessment

Portfolio assessment


Read each of the articles listed below to gain an understanding of key concepts related to assessment. As you read, look for these concepts, their definitions, and examples of each.

After you read the articles, write answers to the following questions. You can use the Reading Questions form (PDF).

  1. What factors should be considered in planning for assessment?
  2. How are goals, instruction, and assessment related?
  3. What is the relationship between standards and assessment?
  4. What should you consider as you develop criteria for rubrics?
  5. What are the strengths of the following approaches?

    • Performance assessment
    • Authentic assessment
    • Authentic instruction
    • Portfolio assessment


Save your written work to submit as an assignment.

Performance Assessment (PDF)
Explains performance, portfolio, and authentic assessment.

Wisconsin Education Association Council, Performance Assessment, Education Issues Series, May 1996.

Teaching for Understanding: Ongoing Assessment (PDF)
Outlines key features of ongoing assessment, examples of performances of understanding, and criteria for ongoing assessments.

Active Learning Practices for Schools, Teaching for Understanding: Ongoing Assessment, Harvard University Graduate School of Education and Project Zero.

Current Trends and Practices in Social Studies Assessment for the Early Grades (PDF)
Explores the relationship among goals, instruction, and assessment in social studies.

Alleman, Janet, and Jere Brophy. Current Trends and Practices in Social Studies Assessment for the Early Grades. National Council for the Social Studies, 1999.

Understanding Rubrics (PDF)
Examines rubrics, their uses, and examples.

Goodrich Andrade, Heidi. Understanding Rubrics. Active Learning Practices for Schools, Harvard University Graduate School of Education and Project Zero.

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