Assessment principles and concepts. One more time.

  1. The primary purpose of assessment is to improve performance, not audit it.
  2. Good assessment requires being clear about mission and goals, the standards to which you aspire, and the criteria by which you would measure success.
  3. Therefore, it is about measuring what matters. (If you assess what you value, others will value what you assess.)
  4. And, necessarily, it becomes about planning backwards.
  5. Assessment that improves performance involves feedback.
  6. One tool for getting useful feedback on what matters most is the rubric.
  7. Good assessment requires a variety of measures, data, and feedback.
  8. Good assessment is ongoing. It is about continuous improvement. And unless we designate and protect the time to do this work, it will not happen.
  9. Done collectively, assessment builds community.

When these principles and concepts begin to influence your conversations and your decisions, you are on your way to building an assessment culture in your organization. In an assessment culture, everyone understands the truth of the cartoon below. Assessment is not a destination; it is at the heart of the journey.

Please take a minute to tell us what you thought of our Assessment workshop. Also, we encourage you to consider signing up for one of our other Technical Assistance Workshops which are closely linked to the underlying research and principles of the Assessment Initiative.

For non-linear browsing of the online Assessment Workshop click on the links below:

How To Navigate This Workshop

You may choose to go through this workshop in a linear, page by page fashion, by clicking on the "Next" and "Previous" buttons at the bottom of each step.

If you want to browse through the steps, jump around, or need to go back a few steps, use the "non-linear" menu of steps at the bottom of each page.

If you are familiar with this workshop, and you are looking to refresh your memory, we think the following steps about the Rubric, which is the tool at the heart of this workshop, might be most useful to you: