Inquiry and Assessment

The primary purpose of assessment is to improve student learning. As such it must be tied to meaningful, authentic tasks and activities. The intent of high quality assessment is to improve not just audit student performances of learning and understanding; therefore a range of authentic formative practices as well as the summative assessment are needed to develop a personalized learning picture for each student. Structures need to be in place to draw students into the question of what high standards, engaged learning and quality performance entail. Within high quality assessment:

  • Students need to be taught about how assessment works.
  • Students need to be actively involved in creating rubrics by helping to set the assessment criteria
  • Students are provided with the strategies, skills and opportunities to assess their own learning.
  • Students are provided with the strategies, skills and opportunities to provide meaningful feedback to their peers.
  • The broader school community participates in assessment. There are opportunities for other educators and peers to be involved in the assessment of the work.
  • Communication about assessment is regular and clear.
  • Students set goals, next steps or develop strategies to improve learning and understanding.
  • Procedures are in place to regularly review and improve summative and formative assessment.

We provide a number of online resources to assist teachers in planning a comprehensive assessment plan.

We have prepared a number of generic rubrics. Generic rubrics can be applied to a number of different tasks within the same modality or mode.

The following Analytic Trait Rubric can be used in conjunction with a Math Fair:

Assessment Resources

  • Alberta Assessment Consortium
    AAC (Alberta Assessment Consortium) is a not-for-profit equal partnership of basic education organizations. It is dedicated to enhancing student learning through classroom assessment that increases student confidence as learners and enables them to reveal what they know and demonstrate what they can do.
  • Assessment in the Inquiry Classroom
    Assessment–the process of evaluating the quality of learning– is an integral part of classroom teaching. With children taking different paths as they learn, assessment in the inquiry classroom can be a difficult task. But, as this essay points out, the characteristics of inquiry give teachers the opportunity to determine what students are learning, recognize when they need help, and identify appropriate next steps to take.

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