Elements of Assessment

Course Overview

UCDS College for School Culture

Thursdays, 5:30pm-8:30pm

September 29 - December 8, 2022

*No Classes November 24th

Assessment is the often complex and controversial process of measuring what students know and can do. When used for authentic purposes, assessment can also be understood as the “why” of teaching (curriculum representing the “what” and instruction the “how”). Most importantly, meaningful assessment builds confidence, spurs action, and helps students, teachers and school leaders improve their work.

Students will examine their current understanding of and experiences with assessment; explore the purposes of assessing (diagnostic, formative, summative, interim); identify the types of assessments typically used inside formal learning environments (selected- and constructed-responses, performance tasks, authentic, portfolio and self-/peer-assessment); and learn to analyze and apply the five elements of effective assessment design (alignment, rigor, precision, bias and scoring) through the creation of their own assessments. We will also investigate controversial ideas about assessment, such as day-lighting student thinking instead of sorting and ranking (assessment as a window as well as a ladder), using assessments for growing teaching practice, and accepting that we may never really know what students have learned.

This course will introduce students to lesson/unit design frameworks to root their understanding of the curriculum, instruction, and assessment design process. It will also focus on specific brain research and human development theories as they apply to what, how, and why we teach literacy in the primary grades. The following questions, and students’ own inquiry, will lead our work together:

  • What is assessment and why do we do it?
  • What are the different ways we can assess in the classroom?
  • What are the five elements of effective assessment design and how can they be applied to various assessments?
  • How is assessment influenced by and how does assessment influence school culture?
  • What role does human development theory play in assessment design?
Registration is limited to a small number of participants who will join our Master’s degree candidates for these quarter-long courses. Registrants should expect to fully participate in all aspects of each course including attendance and assignments.

    3 Credits (available through Seattle Pacific University)

    30 Clock Hours (available for an additional $50)

    Product ID:



    $ 425.00