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Educational Assessment:

Assessing Student Learning in the Classroom


Instructor Name:

Dr. Karen Lea



Office Hours:

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Monday - Friday




Virtual Education Software


23403 E Mission Avenue, Suite 220F


Liberty Lake, WA 99019

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.


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)


Educational Assessment: Assessing Student Learning in the Classroom


Virtual Education Software, inc. 2005, Revised 2010, Revised 2013, Revised 2016, Revised 2019, Revised 2022


Dr. Karen Lea



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.



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%, and successfully complete ALL writing assignments 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 all course journal article and essay writing assignments with the minimum word count shown for each writing assignment.

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




At the end of each section, 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. The average from your exam scores will be printed on your certificate. However, this is not your final grade since your required writing assignments have not been reviewed. Exceptionally written or poorly written required writing assignments, or violation of the academic integrity policy in the course syllabus, will affect your grade. 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 section before you complete all questions, your information will be lost. You are expected to complete the entire exam in one sitting.



Writing Assignments

All assignments are reviewed and may impact your final grade. Exceptionally or poorly written assignments, or violation of the Academic Integrity Policy (see course syllabus for policy), will affect your grade. Fifty percent of your grade is determined by your writing assignments, and your overall exam score determines the other fifty percent. Refer to the Essay Grading Guidelines, which were sent as an attachment with your original course link. You should also refer to the Course Syllabus Addendum, which was sent as an attachment with your original course link, to determine if you have any writing assignments in addition to the Critical Thinking Questions (CTQ) and Journal Article Summations (JAS). If you do, the Essay Grading Guidelines will also apply.


Your writing assignments must meet the minimum word count and are not to include the question or your final citations as part of your word count. In other words, the question and citations are not to be used as a means to meet the minimum word count.


Critical Thinking Questions

There are four CTQs that you are required to complete. You will need to write a minimum of 500 words (maximum 1,000) per essay. You should explain how the information that you gained from the course will be applied and clearly convey a strong understanding of the course content as it relates to each CTQ. To view the questions, click on REQUIRED ESSAY and choose the CTQ that you are ready to complete; this will bring up a screen where you may enter your essay. Prior to course submission, you may go back at any point to edit your essay, but you must be certain to click SAVE once you are done with your edits.


You must click SAVE before you write another essay or move on to another part of the course.


Journal Article Summations

You are required to write, in your own words, a summary on a total of three peer-reviewed or scholarly journal articles (one article per JAS), written by an author with a Ph.D., Ed.D. or similar, on the topic outlined within each JAS section in the “Required Essays” portion of the course (blogs, abstracts, news articles, or similar are not acceptable). Your article choice must relate specifically to the discussion topic listed in each individual JAS. You will choose a total of three relevant articles (one article per JAS) and write a thorough summary of the information presented in each article (you must write a minimum of 200 words with a 400 word maximum per JAS). Be sure to provide the URL or the journal name, volume, date, and any other critical information to allow the facilitator to access and review each article.


To write your summary, click on REQUIRED ESSAYS and choose the JAS that you would like to complete. A writing program will automatically launch where you can write your summary. When you are ready to stop, click SAVE. Prior to course submission you may go back at any point to edit your summaries but you must be certain to click SAVE once you are done with your edits. For more information on the features of this assignment, please consult the HELP menu.


You must click SAVE before you write another summary or move on to another part of the course.



Instructor Description

Karen Lea holds a Ph.D. in education. Dr. Lea has fifteen years of experience teaching at the K–12 level and another fourteen years’ experience teaching education courses at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Those fourteen years in higher education included six years as a dean at a university and seven additional years in charge of assessment and accreditation at a university. Currently, she is a lead program development owner at Western Governors University. Dr. Lea has been professionally published more than 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 karen_lea@virtualeduc.com 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 www.virtualeduc.com and also the Help section of your course.


If you need personal assistance then email support@virtualeduc.com 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: www.virtualeduc.com 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)

Ajjawl, R., Bearman, M., & Boud, D. (2019). Performing standards: A critical perspective on the contemporary use of standards in assessment. Teaching in Higher Education, 26(5), 728–741. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2019.1678579

Brady, L., & Kennedy, K. (2019). Assessment and reporting (5th ed.). Pearson.

Carnegie Mellon University, Eberly Center. (n.d.a). What is the difference between formative and summative assessment? https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/assessment/basics/formative-summative.html

Carnegie Mellon University, Eberly Center. (n.d.b). Why should assessments, learning objectives, and instructional strategies be aligned? https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/assessment/basics/alignment.html

Carvalho, B. (2020, May 4). What is a portfolio for the classroom? https://spacesedu.com/en/what-is-a-portfolio-for-the-classroom/

Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. (2015). Measurement and evaluation. https://citl.illinois.edu/citl-101/measurement-evaluation/teaching-evaluation/teaching-evaluations-(ices)

Cimpian, J. (2018, April 23). How our education system undermines gender equity: And why culture change—not policy—may be the solution. Brookings. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2018/04/23/how-our-education-system-undermines-gender-equity/

CDC. (2021). Covid-19: Questions & answers on school testing. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/q-and-a-school-testing.html

Collins, J. (2021, April 19). DIY guide to writing good multiple-choice questions. https://thereadingroom.mrionline.com/2021/04/diy-guide-to-writing-good-multiple-choice-questions/

Cohen, P. D. (2019). Infuse your formative assessment with tech. Scholastic.


Common Core State Standards Initiative. (n.d.a). Frequently asked questions. https://www.thecorestandards.org/about-the-standards/frequently-asked-questions/ 

Common Core State Standards Initiative. (n.d.b). Myths vs. facts. https://www.thecorestandards.org/about-the-standards/myths-vs-facts/

Conley, D. T. (2014). A new era for educational assessment. Students at the Center: Deeper Learning Research Series. Jobs for the Future.

Dame, B., & Lea, K. (2020, May 29). Using universal design to create better assessments. https://www.edutopia.org/article/using-universal-design-create-better-assessments

Deubel, P. (2022). Standardized test preparation and tips for success. Computing Technology for Math Excellence. http://www.ct4me.net/standardized_test_preparation.htm

Dodge, J. (n.d.). What are formative assessments and why should we use them?


EduNova. (n.d.) True/False tests. https://stemeducationjournal.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40594-019-0169-0

Engageny. (2021). Educator guide to the 2021 English language arts tests. https://www.nysed.gov/state-assessment/grades-3-8-ela-and-math-test-manuals

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

Fenner, D. S. (2016, February). Fair and square assessments for ELLs. Educational Leadership, 73(5). http://www1.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb16/vol73/num05/Fair-And-Square-Assessments-for-ELLs.aspx

Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2014). Checking for understanding: Formative assessment techniques for your classroom. ASCD.

Georgia Association of Educators. (2018). Code of ethics on standardized testing. https://www.gapsc.com/Ethics/CodeOfEthics.aspx

Gewertz, C. (2014). Big year looms for Common-Core testing. Education Week. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/09/03/03assessment.h34.html

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

IRIS Center for Training Enhancements. (2004). Classroom assessment (part 1): An introduction to monitoring academic achievement in the classroom. http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/gpm/

Kansas State University. (2015). Is this a trick question? http://www.k-state.edu/ksde/alp/resources/Handout-Module6.pdf

Learning Management Corporation. (2015). Writing effective questions. http://www.thelearningmanager.com

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

Mathewson, T. G. (2017). States will soon be free to transform standardized testing, but most won’t. The Hechinger Report. https://hechingerreport.org/states-will-soon-free-transform-standardized-testing-wont/

Polat, M. (2020). Analysis of multiple-choice versus open-ended questions in language tests according to different cognitive domain levels. Novitas-ROYAL, 14(2), 76–96.

National Council of Teachers of English. (2013, October 21). Formative assessment that truly informs instruction. http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Positions/formative-assessment_single.pdf

National Foundation for Educational Research. (2012). Assessment. https://www.nfer.ac.uk/

Nitko, A. J., & Brookhart, S. M. (2020). Educational assessment of students (8th ed.). Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Otero-Saborido, F. M. (2020). Analysis of the assessment in physical education curricula in primary education. Sport, Education and Society, 26(8), 903–916. https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2020.1804349

Overton, T. (2020). Assessing learners with special needs: An applied approach (8th ed.). Pearson.

Parvis, S. (2012). Effective assessment of students determining responsiveness to instruction. Pearson.

Pierangelo, R. A., & Giulianu, G. A. (2021). Assessment in special education: A practical approach (5th ed.). Pearson.

Reddy, K. (2019). Summative evaluation – Top 22 advantages and disadvantages. Wise Step. https://content.wisestep.com/advantages-disadvantages-summative-evaluation/

Resilient Educator. (2020). Summative assessment: What teachers need to know. https://resilienteducator.com/classroom-resources/summative-assessment-what-teachers-need-to-know/

Royal, K. D., & Guskey, T. R. (2015). On the appropriateness of norm- and criterion-referenced assessments in medical education. Ear, Nose & Throat Journal, 94(7), 252–254. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/014556131509400701

Salvia, J., Ysseldyke, J. E., & Bolt, S. (2017). Assessment in special and inclusive education (13th ed.). Houghton Mifflin.

Scholastic. (2019). Mastering the basics of writing. https://studyright.net/downloads/mastering-basics-writing/

Sein, A. S., Rashid, H., Meka, J., Amiel, J., & Pluta, W. (2020). Twelve tips for embedding assessment for and as learning practices in a programmatic assessment system. Medical Teacher, 43(3), 300–306. https://doi.org/10.1080/0142159X.2020.1789081

Sparks, S. D. (2018). Getting feedback right: A Q&A with John Hattie. Education Week. https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2018/06/20/getting-feedback-right-a-qa-with-john.html

Special Connections. (2015). Choosing and using accommodations: IEP team considerations. Special Connections, University of Kansas. https://specialconnections.ku.edu/instruction/instructional_accommodations/teacher_tools/choosing_and_using_accommodations_iep_team_considerations 

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

Spinelli, C. G (2012). Classroom assessment for students in special education (3rd ed.). Pearson.

Smith, T. E. C., Polloway, E. A., & Patton, J. R. (2015). Teaching students with special needs in inclusive settings (7th ed). Merrill/Pearson.

Strauss, V. (2021, April 5). Why the Common Core standards failed—And what it means for school reform. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2021/04/05/common-core-failed-school-reform/

TEAL Center. (2012) Metacognitive processes. American Institutes for Research. https://lincs.ed.gov/state-resources/federal-initiatives/teal/guide/metacognitive#:~:text=4%3AMetacognitiveProcesses,-FacebookLinkedInTwitter&text=Metacognitionisone'sabilityto,modifyone'sapproachasneeded.

Time 4 Writing. (n.d.). Step-by-Step Guide to Writing an Essay. https://insights.gostudent.org/en/how-to-write-the-perfect-essay

Ujifusa, A. (2021). Map: Tracking the common core state standards. Education Week, 36(11), 16. https://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/map-states-academic-standards-common-core-or.html

UNESCO. (n.d.). Assessment for improved learning outcomes. https://www.unesco.org/en/learning-assessments

United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence. (2020). Aviation instructor’s handbook. U.S. Army.

Vaughn, S., Bos, C. S., & Schumm, J. S. (2018). Teaching students who are exceptional diverse and at-risk students in the general education classroom (7th ed.). Pearson Education.

Van der Kleij, F. M., & Lipnevich, A. A. (2021). Student perceptions of assessment feedback: A critical scoping review and call for research. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 33, 345–373. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11092-020-09331-x

Vatooy, K., Gamlem, S. M., & Rogne, W. M. (2020). Examining students’ feedback engagement and assessment experiences: A mixed study. Studies in Higher Education, 46(11), 2325–2337. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2020.1723523

Welcome, A. (2021, November 23). Learning gaps: Types, examples, and tips to solve them. https://sphero.com/blogs/news/learning-gaps

Wisniewski, B., Zierer, K., & Hattie, J. (2020). The power of feedback revisited: A meta-analysis of educational feedback research. Frontiers in Psychology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.03087

Wiggins, G. (2012, September 1). Seven keys to effective feedback. Educational Leadership, 70(1), 10–16. https://www.ascd.org/el/articles/seven-keys-to-effective-feedback

Wood, K. D., & Taylor, D. B. (2020). Smuggling writing: Strategies that get students to write every day in every content area. Corwin.

World Population Review. (2021). Common Core states 2021. https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/common-core-states

Tool for creating rubrics: http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php

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.


10/27/23 jn