Delve Institute of Learning Research

Educational Research Topics and Digests

Assessment of Learning

What are the best practices in assessment for K-12 students, based on research?

7 Best Practices for Assessment

Use a variety of assessment methods. Don’t rely on just one type of assessment, such as tests or quizzes. Use a variety of methods, such as projects, presentations, portfolios, and observations, to get a more comprehensive picture of student learning.

Align assessments with learning objectives. Make sure that your assessments are aligned with the learning objectives that you want students to achieve. This will help to ensure that the assessments are fair and that they are actually measuring what you want to measure.

Use formative assessment to guide instruction. Formative assessment is ongoing assessment that is used to provide feedback to students and to guide instruction. It can be used to identify areas where students need help and to adjust instruction accordingly.

Provide timely feedback to students. Feedback should be timely, specific, and actionable. It should help students to understand what they did well and what they need to work on.

Use assessment data to improve instruction. Don’t just collect assessment data and then file it away. Use the data to make informed decisions about how to improve instruction. This could involve changing the content, the activities, or the way that you deliver instruction.

Involve students in the assessment process. Students should be involved in the assessment process from the beginning. They should be aware of the learning objectives, they should be involved in creating the assessments, and they should be given feedback on their performance.

Make assessment fair and equitable. Make sure that all students have the opportunity to succeed on assessments. This means providing accommodations for students with disabilities and making sure that the assessments are not biased against any particular group of students.

These are just a few of the best practices in assessment for K-12 students. By following these practices, you can ensure that your assessments are fair, effective, and aligned with student learning.

See the Research

For more information, see the following research links:

[1] A Simple Tool for Aligning Instruction and Assessment in K-12 Classrooms | Edutopia
[2] 5 best practices for better classroom assessments | K-12 Dive
[3] Effectiveness of feedback: The students’ perspective | Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education

Dig Deeper, How to Use Assessment Data

Assessment data is a valuable source of information that can help teachers and students improve their learning outcomes. By collecting and analyzing assessment data, teachers can identify the strengths and weaknesses of their students, as well as the effectiveness of their teaching methods and strategies. Teachers can use this information to adjust their instruction, provide feedback, and differentiate their support for different learners.

Similarly, students can use assessment data to monitor their progress, set goals, and reflect on their learning processes and strategies. Assessment data can also foster a culture of collaboration and inquiry among teachers and students, as they share and discuss their results and seek ways to improve them.

Therefore, using assessment data to improve learning for students and to improve teaching practices is an essential component of quality education.

List of Research-Based Assessment Practices

Some research based assessment practices are:

  • Aligning assessment with learning outcomes and teaching methods
  • Using multiple sources and methods of evidence to measure student learning
  • Providing timely and constructive feedback to students
  • Involving students in self-assessment and peer-assessment
  • Using rubrics or criteria to guide assessment and communicate expectations
  • Applying universal design principles to make assessment accessible and inclusive
  • Evaluating the validity and reliability of assessment results
  • Using assessment data to inform teaching and learning improvement

Research-Based Assessment Resources

Here is a list of some research articles from 2022-2023 for assessment strategies:

  • Rethinking authentic assessment: work, well-being, and society by Jan McArthur (Higher Education, 2023). This article explores the concept of authentic assessment in higher education and argues for a more holistic and social approach that values well-being and social justice .
  • Authentic Assessment: A Strengths-Based Approach to Making Thinking, Learning, and Development Visible by Hilary Seitz (Young Children, 2023). This article discusses how to use authentic assessment strategies to observe, evaluate, and reflect on children’s learning and development in early childhood settings .
  • Functional Assessment and Positive Behavior Support: The Role of Early Learning Program Leaders and Teachers by Barbara Kaiser and Judy Sklar Rasminsky (Young Children, 2023). This article explains how to use functional analysis to understand and address challenging behaviors in young children .
  • Assessing Agency in Learning Contexts: A First, Critical Step to Assessing Children Now by Natacha Ndabahagamye Jones, Amber T. Fowler, and Jennifer Keys Adair (Young Children, 2023). This article introduces a culturally flexible tool that supports agency in classrooms and enables dynamic and sophisticated learning experiences for children .
  • Save the Date: 2023 LEC to Focus on Talent Assessment Strategies for the Future (Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2023). This article announces a conference on talent assessment that will cover topics such as legislation, diversity, artificial intelligence, and post-hire uses of assessment .
  • 9 Trends That Will Shape Work in 2023 and Beyond by Lynda Gratton (Harvard Business Review, 2023). This article identifies nine trends that will affect the future of work, including the need for skill-based assessment rather than credential-based assessment .
  • What is formative assessment? by Brooke Mabry (Teach. Learn. Grow., 2023). This article defines formative assessment as a process of gathering evidence of learning and providing feedback to adjust instruction and support student growth .