Educational Assessment:

Assessing Student Learning in the Classroom


Instructor Name:          Dr. Karen Lea

Phone:                         509-891-7219

Office Hours:               8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Monday - Friday


Address:                      Virtual Education Software

                                    16201 E Indiana Ave, Suite 1450

                                    Spokane, WA 99216

Technical Support:


Welcome to Educational Assessment: Assessing Student Learning in the Classroom!  Curriculum, instruction, and assessment work together to support student learning. Students are provided with opportunities to learn the skills, concepts, and work-study practices necessary to be successful in classrooms. Assessments measure student progress toward the standards, help teachers identify each student's instructional needs, and inform parents about what and how their child is learning. The assessments also help to gauge how well schools are supporting the achievement of all students.


However, no matter how many assessments there are, without educators able to use assessments, those assessments are worthless. As educators, we must know how to conduct the assessment, interpret the data, and develop priorities for action. We also must take into account data from other sources, notably the parents and psychologists. We then have to put all this information into some organized format and make the information clear to colleagues and parents.


In order to do this, we have to bring our skills and knowledge about the subject matter into play while answering these questions:

• What is the prerequisite knowledge for this area of the curriculum?

• How important is the particular area?

• Would having a "less than very high" level of competence in one area predispose the child to failure in other areas?

• How much time should be spent on a particular topic?

• Should we consider an alternative area?


This computer-based instruction course is a self-supporting program that provides instruction, structured practice, and evaluation all on your home or school computer.  Technical support information can be found in the Help section of your course.

Course Materials (Online)
Title:                Educational Assessment: Assessing Student Learning in the Classroom

Instructor:        Dr. Karen Lea

Publisher:         Virtual Education Software, inc. 2005, Revised 2010, Revised 2013, Revised 2016


Academic Integrity Statement

The structure and format of most distance-learning courses presume a high level of personal and academic integrity in completion and submission of coursework. Individuals enrolled in a distance-learning course are expected to adhere to the following standards of academic conduct.


Academic Work

Academic work submitted by the individual (such as papers, assignments, reports, tests) shall be the student’s own work or appropriately attributed, in part or in whole, to its correct source. Submission of commercially prepared (or group prepared) materials as if they are one’s own work is unacceptable.


Aiding Honesty in Others

 The individual will encourage honesty in others by refraining from providing materials or information to another person with knowledge that these materials or information will be used improperly.


Violations of these academic standards will result in the assignment of a failing grade and subsequent loss of credit for the course.

Course Objectives
Expected Learning Outcomes

Assessment of learning is a complex process and it is important to be clear about the purpose of the assessment. At the conclusion of this course students will be able to:


·         Articulate the purpose and types of educational assessments

·         Create high quality assessments for the classroom


Course Description

This course will cover many areas and topics on educational assessment. The following is an outline of the topics that will be discussed in each chapter of the course.

Chapter 1: Overview

Course Overview

History of education assessment

What is educational assessment

Discrepancy gap

Effective assessments


Common Core and assessments

ELL and Special Needs Students


Chapter 2: Formative vs. Summative

Summative assessments

Formative assessments


Chapter 3: Types of Formative Assessments





Learning centers

Other types


Chapter 4: Feedback & Writing Questions

Multiple Choice



Short Answer



Student Expectations 

As a student you will be expected to:

·         Complete all four information sections showing a competent understanding of the material presented in each section.

·         Complete all four section examinations, showing a competent understanding of the material presented.  You must obtain an overall score of 70% or higher, with no individual exam score below 50%, to pass this course.  *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.

·         Complete a review of any section on which your examination score was below 50%.

·         Retake any examination, after completing an information review, to increase that examination score to a minimum of 50%, making sure to also be achieving an overall exam score of a minimum 70% (maximum of three attempts). *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.

·         Complete a course evaluation form at the end of the course.



At the end of each chapter, you will be expected to complete an examination designed to assess your knowledge. You may take these exams a total of three times. Your last score will save, not the highest score.  After your third attempt, each examination will lock and not allow further access. Your final grade for the course will be determined by calculating an average score of all exams.  This score will be printed on your final certificate.  As this is a self-paced computerized instruction program, you may review course information as often as necessary. You will not be able to exit any examinations until you have answered all questions. If you try to exit the exam before you complete all questions, your information will be lost. You are expected to complete the entire exam in one sitting.


Instructor Description

Karen Lea holds a Ph.D. in education. Dr. Lea has fifteen years’ experience teaching at the K-12 level and another fourteen years’ experience teaching education courses at the undergraduate and post-graduate level. Currently she is a coordinator for a cadre of instructional developers and project manager for aerospace online training. Dr. Lea has been professionally published over fifteen times and has served on over a dozen panels and boards, including serving on the NCATE (CAEP) Board of Examiners.


Contacting the Instructor

You may contact the instructor by emailing or by calling (509) 891-7219, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. PST.  Phone messages will be answered within 24 hours.  Phone conferences will be limited to ten minutes per student, per day, given that this is a self-paced instructional program. Please do not contact the instructor about technical problems, course glitches or other issues that involve the operation of the course.


Technical Questions

If you have questions or problems related to the operation of this course, please try everything twice. If the problem persists please check our support pages for FAQs and known issues at and also the Help section of your course.


If you need personal assistance then email or call (509) 891-7219.  When contacting technical support, please know your course version number (it is located at the bottom left side of the Welcome Screen) and your operating system, and be seated in front of the computer at the time of your call. 


Minimum Computer Requirements

Please refer to VESi’s website: or contact VESi if you have further questions about the compatibility of your operating system.


Refer to the addendum regarding Grading Criteria, Course Completion Information, Items to be Submitted and how to submit your completed information. The addendum will also note any additional course assignments that you may be required to complete that are not listed in this syllabus.


Bibliography (suggested reading)


Ainsworth, L., & Viegut, D. (2006). Common formative assessments. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.


Alexander, H. (2015). Developing effective assessment: Strategies for success. Griffith University Good Practice Guide.


Alper, S., Ryndak, D. L., & Schloss, C. N. (2001). Alternative assessment of students with disabilities in inclusive settings. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.


Ashlock, R. B. (2010). Error patterns in computation (10th ed.). Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill.


Babchik, B. (2012). Teaching students test strategies. United Federation of Teachers. [Retrieved from].


Beach, R. & Friedrich, T. (2006). Response to writing. In MacArthur, C. A., Graham, S., & Fitzgerald, J. (Eds.), Handbook of writing research (pp. 222-234). New York, NY: Guilford Press.


Black, P. and Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. Phi Delta Kappan, 80(2): 139–148.


Black, P. & Wiliam, D. (2004). The formative purpose: Assessment must first promote learning. In M. Wilson (Ed.), Towards coherence between classroom assessment and accountability. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Bracey, G. W. (2000). Thinking about tests and testing: A short primer in assessment literacy. Washington, D.C.:  American Youth Policy Forum.


Brady, L. & Kennedy, K. (2012). Assessment and reporting (4th ed.).  French Forrest (Sydney), Australia: Pearson.


Brady, L. Kennedy, K., & Marsh, C. (2003). Curriculum and assessment. Sydney, Australia: Pearson.


Brame, C. J. (2015). Writing good multiple choice test questions. [Retrieved from].


Bryant, D. P., Smith, D. D., & Bryant, B. R. (2008). Teaching students with special needs in inclusive classrooms. Boston, MA: Merrill.


Carnegie Mellon Eberly Center (2015). Whys & hows of assessment. [Retrieved from].


Cohen, L. G., & Spencimer, L. J. (2011). Assessment of children and youth with special needs (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.


Common Core Initiatives. (2015) [Retrieved from].


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Concordia University. (2015). Summative assessment: What teachers need to know. [Retrieved from].


Conley, D.T. 2014. A New Era for Educational Assessment. Students at the Center: Deeper Learning Research Series. Boston, MA: Jobs for the Future. Wiggins, G. (2012). Seven keys to effective feedback. Educational Leadership, 70(1), 10-16.


Damiani, V. B. (2015). Portfolio assessment in the classroom. National Association of School Psychologists. [Retrieved from


Darling-Hammond, L. & Adamson, F. (2010). Beyond basic skills: The role of performance assessment in achieving 21st century standards of learning. Stanford, CA: Stanford University, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education.


Darling-Hammond, L. & Wentworth, L. (2010). Benchmarking learning systems: Student performance assessment in international context. Stanford, CA: Stanford University, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education.


Drexel University Center for Academic Excellence. (2015). Designing fair and effective assessment plans.


D’Youville College (2015). What is educational & programmatic assessment? [Retrieved from].


eLearning Coach. (2015). [Retrieved from].


ENDAPT. (2015). Understanding professional ethics. [Retrieved from].


Erban, T., Ban, R., & Casteneda, M. (2009). Teaching English language learners through technology. New York, NY: Routledge.


Fisher, D. & Frey, N. (2007). Checking for understanding: Formative assessment techniques for your classroom. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


Gewertz, C. (2014). Big Year Looms for Common-Core Testing. Education Week. [Retrieved from].


Grief, S., Meyer, B., & Burgess, A. (2007). Effective teaching and learning: Writing. London: NRDC. Available at


Hattie, J., & Temperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 81–112.


Hoover, I. (2013). Linking assessment to instruction in multi-tiered models: A teacher's guide to selecting, reading, writing, and mathematics interventions. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.


Innovation in Teaching and Learning (2015). [Retrieved from].


Kansas State University. (2015). Is this a trick question? [Retrieved from].


Lane, S. (2010). Performance assessment: The state of the art. (SCOPE Student Performance Assessment Series). Stanford, CA: Stanford University, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education.


LeGrange, L., & Reddy, C. (2000). Continuous assessment. Kenwyn, Australia: Juta.


Lloyd, J. W., Landrum, T. J., Cook, B. G., & Tankersley, M. G. (2013). Research-based approaches for assessment. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

McLoughlin, J. A., & Lewis, R. B. (2008).  Assessing students with special needs (7th ed.).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.


National Council of Teachers of English. (2013). Formative assessment that truly informs instruction.


National Foundation for Educational Research. (2012). Assessment. [Retrieved from].


Nitko, A. J., & Brookhart, S. M. (2011).  Educational assessment of students (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson/Prentice Hall. 


Olson, J. L., Platt, J. C., & Dieker, L. A. (2008). Teaching students and adolescents with special needs (5th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, Merrill/Prentice Hall.


Overton, T. (2012). Assessing learners with special needs: An applied approach (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.


Pathey-Chavez, G. G., Matsumura, L. C., & Valdes, R. (2004). Investigating the process approach to writing instruction in urban middle schools. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 47(6), 462–477.


Parvis, S. (2012). Effective assessment of students determining responsiveness to instruction.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.


Pierangelo, R. A., & Giulianu, G. A. (2013). Assessment in special education: A practical approach (4th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.


Popham, W. J. (2008). Transformative Assessment. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.


Richek, M. A., Caldwell, J. S., Jennings, J. J., & Lerner, J. (2002).  Reading problems. Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.


Royal, K. D., and Guskey, T. R. (2015). On the appropriateness of norm- and criterion-referenced assessments in medical education. Ear, Nose & Throat Journal, 94(7), 252-254.


Sadler, D.R. (1989). Formative assessment and the design of instructional systems. Instructional Science, 18(2): 119–144.


Salvia, J., Ysseldyke, J. E., & Bolt, S. (2013). Assessment in special and inclusive education (12th ed.) .Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.


Shavelson, R. J. (2006). On the integration of formative assessment in teaching and learning with implications for teacher education. Paper prepared for the Stanford Education Assessment Laboratory and the University of Hawaii Curriculum Research and Development Group. Available at:


Sieborger, R., & Macintosh, H. (2002). Transforming assessment. Lansdowne, Australia: Juta.


Special Connections. (2015). Choosing and using accommodations: IEP team considerations. Lawrence, KS: Special Connections, University of Kansas. Retrieved from


Spinelli, C. G. (2010). Linking assessment to instructional strategies: A guide for teachers. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.


Spinelli, C. G (2012). Classroom assessment for students in special education (3rd ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.


Smith, T. E .C, Polloway, E. A. & Patton,J. R. (2011).  Teaching students with special needs in inclusive settings. Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Merrill/Pearson.


Swigard, A. (2014). Preparing English learners for the Common Core. Southeast Education Network.


Taylor. (2009). Assessment of exceptional students  (8th ed.)  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson.


Teachers Where Teachers Come First. (2015). [Retrieved from].


TEAL Center. (2010). Metacognitive processes. Washington, DC: American Institutes for Research. Available at


The IRIS Center for Training Enhancements. (2004). Classroom assessment (part 1): An introduction to monitoring academic achievement in the classroom. Retrieved on [August 8, 2015] from


The Learning Management Corporation. (2015). Writing effective questions. [Retrieved from].


Thome, C. (2013). Bringing the common core state standards to life in the classroom. [Retrieved from].


United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence. Aviation Instructor’s Handbook (2015). Fort Rucker, AL: U.S. Army.


University of North Carolina. (2015). Designing test questions. [Retrieved from].


University of Texas. (2015). Ethical considerations. [Retrieved from].


Vaughn, S., Bos, C. S., & Schumm, J. S.  (2011). Teaching students who are exceptional diverse and at-risk students in the general education classroom (5th ed) Boston, MA: Pearson Education.


Venn, J. J. (2007). Assessing students with special needs (4th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice Hall.


West Virginia Department of Education. (2015). Formative assessment. [Retrieved from]. 


Course content is updated every three years. Due to this update timeline, some URL links may no longer be active or may have changed. Please type the title of the organization into the command line of any Internet browser search window and you will be able to find whether the URL link is still active or any new link to the corresponding organization's web home page.


12/6/16  JN