Assessment GlossaryAssessment as Learning: A type of formative assessment used to track students’ learning progress, which is gathered through self-assessment techniques.
This type of assessment asks students to engage in metacognitive strategies to evaluate what and how they are learning. It is used to help students self-monitor, discover how they learn, and set personal learning goals. Examples include reflective questions, journals, self-assessments, peer assessments and checklists. Assessment for Learning: A type of formative assessment used to track students’ learning progress, which is gathered through a variety of evaluation methods. It provides teachers with descriptive feedback, including what students have learned so far and their future learning needs. This information is then used to inform teachers’ lesson planning, approaches to instruction, and differentiation of instruction. Examples include informal observations, anecdotal notes and rubrics.
Assessment Literate: Means possessing an in-depth understanding of educational assessment, including the different types and their purposes. Teachers who are assessment literate are able to select and administer a variety of balanced, reliable and valid assessments to measure specific learning outcomes and feedback requirements for a student or group of students.Assessment of Learning: A type of summative assessment used quantify the extent to which students have achieved the learning outcomes associated with a specific course or program of study. This type of assessment is often represented in a formal manner through a grade. Examples of this type of assessment include performance tasks, rubrics, final examinations and diploma examinations.
Assessment Strategies (Tools): The different ways to go about evaluating students’ achievement of learning outcomes. The type of assessment a teacher uses will dictate the assessment strategy they select for their students. For example, when a teacher wants to perform a summative assessment at the end of a course, they will need to choose a summative assessment strategy such as a performance task assessment or final examination.Authentic Assessment: A type of educational assessment that asks students to apply their skills and knowledge to a practical task. The task must be modelled after and relevant to situations that occur outside of the educational setting and the kind of skills and knowledge needed in these situations. Examples include writing a resume or baking a cake.
Balanced Assessment: An approach to evaluating and documenting students’ competencies, achievement of learning outcomes, and learning needs. This approach requires the use of multiple types of assessment, including formative and summative assessment, on an ongoing basis. When using this approach, teachers must consider how and how often assessment is occurring across all of the programs of study. This will ensure students are assessed consistently, fairly, and thoroughly. The results of this approach allow teachers, and anyone who uses assessment results, to obtain a complete picture of each student’s learning progress, current level of achievement and learning needs.Clarity of Assessment: An approach to educational assessment that involves setting simple and understandable expectations for students regarding required learning outcomes for the programs of study, evaluation criteria, and assessment instructions. This will ensure that all students have the opportunity to achieve learning outcomes, produce high-quality products of learning and accurately complete assessments.
Descriptive Feedback: Describes the comprehensive collection of information given to students based on or in conjunction with the results of a formative assessment. Students can use this information to set personal learning goals and guide their future approaches to learning. For example, a teacher marks a project and gives it back to students with a grade, completed checklist and additional comments to explain the grade and checklist. Diagnostic Assessment: A type of educational assessment that is used to determine a student’s unique abilities, skills, and knowledge prior to the student participating in a course or program. The results of this assessment can be used to determine whether a student is eligible for a particular course or program of studies based on their level of achievement and learning needs.
Examples include entrance examinations, language proficiency examinations and IQ examinations. Diploma Examinations Program: A type of summative assessment tool that is administered to Grade 12 students in Alberta for specific Grade 12 courses. The results of the Diploma Examinations provide a certification of each individual student’s level of achievement in a specific course. This assessment is also used to maintain provincial standards of education and to track the academic achievement of individual students and groups of students. Educational Assessment: A process used to evaluate and document specific competencies, achievement of learning outcomes, and learning needs of an individual student or group of students.
The results of this evaluation are used by teachers, students, parents, administrators, and policy makers to make important decisions. For example, teachers use educational assessments to inform lesson planning and their approaches to instruction.Final Examination: A type of summative assessment used to evaluate and summarize a student’s achievement of learning outcomes at the end of a unit of study or course. An example is diploma examinations.
Formative Assessment: A type of informal educational assessment that occurs on a regular basis. This type of assessment encompasses “assessments for learning” and “assessments as learning”. It is used by teachers and learners to determine what has been learned and how to move forward with the learning process. Examples include final examinations, diploma examinations, performance tasks, portfolios, quizzes and rubrics.Grade: A measurement used to describe and rank the quality or extent to which a student has achieved a specific level of competency or learning outcome. This measurement can be expressed in a range using a letter, such as A to D, or number, such as a scale from 1 to 4 or percentage. Informal Observation: A type of “assessment for learning” that involves a teacher making a quick observation of a student or a group of students in order to make immediate modifications to their lesson plan.
This type of assessment does not involve taking detailed notes or assigning grades. For example, a teacher might decide to introduce a new topic if they notice most students have completed a task and understand the current topic. Learning Logs or Journals: A type of “assessment as learning” that requires students to evaluate their own learning by recording data regarding their learning or writing reflective notes.
Some teachers provide guidance to students to help them complete this type of assessment such as structured tables or worksheets with insightful questions.Learning Outcomes: The objectives that are shared with students at the beginning of a course or program of study and worked towards throughout the course using various lessons and assignments. Achievement of these learning outcomes are evaluated through educational assessments. Metacognition: An essential component of “assessment as learning” that requires students to think about how they think or learn. For example, students might complete a self-evaluation or journal to help them identify what helps them learn, Meta-Rubric: An educational assessment tool used to determine how effective a rubric at evaluating the achievement of learning outcomes. Using this tool will ensure that a rubric provides a balanced, reliable and valid form of evaluation.Peer Assessment: A type of “assessment as learning” completed by students for their peers (other students).
This type of assessment challenges students to take on the role of an evaluator. Each student is usually asked to create a product of learning and then exchange the product with another student. The students are then given instructions regarding what aspects of the product to evaluate in the form of a checklist or rubric. Students will give their peer the checklist or rubric along with some additional feedback.Performance Assessment Task: A type of authentic “assessment for” or “of learning” that involves participating in an engaging activity, producing a product of learning, or giving a response to demonstrate a specific set of skills and knowledge.
These types of assessments are integrated directly into a lesson as a part of the learning process and can be completed individually or in a group. Teachers will often use a checklist or rubric to evaluate students’ level of achievement.Portfolios: A type of “assessment a” or “of learning” compiled by student or teachers. It includes a variety of examples of an individual students’ learning. This type of assessment may contain examples of essays, posters, worksheets, tests, self-evaluations, and lists of learning goals. Product of Learning: A representation of what a student has learned during a lesson or entire program of study. This representation can take many forms, including a written response like an essay or question and answer sheet, presentation or physical creation like a poster.Quiz (Test): A type of educational assessment comprised of a series of questions, such as multiple choice, question and answer, fill-in-the-blank and true or false.
This type of assessment can be used “for learning”, “as learning, or “of learning” depending on how it is administered and how the results are used. When it is used in an informal manner and not graded it can inform the content and structure of future lessons and instruction. Alternatively, it can be used to evaluate the sum of what students have learned from a unit of study or entire program of study. Reliable Assessment: An approach to educational assessment that involves using multiple types of assessment to ensure that the results are consistent or match-up with one another. For example, it is important that teachers use both formative and summative assessment when evaluating students’ achievement of learning outcomes. Record Keeping: A function of assessment used to track students’ progress towards achieving learning outcomes in the short or long term. Records of assessment results are kept on individual students by a teacher and referred to on an ongoing basis in order to differentiate instruction and provide information to parents and school administrators.
Assessment can also become a part of a student’s permanent record which follows the student from grade to grade.Report Card: A record of assessment that outlines an individual student’s level of achievement for specific courses or programs of study. This record usually includes grades for specific competencies and/or each program of study along with attendance records, and qualitative comments provided by a teacher.Rubric (Scoring Guide): A type of educational assessment that consists of a list of criteria that are often divided into ranges or rankings based on varying levels of student achievement or requirements for a product of student learning. This type of assessment can be used “for learning” or “of learning”. Students can use this assessment to help them successfully create a high-quality product of learning and teachers can use it to score the products of learning that students produce.Self-Evaluation: A type of “assessment as learning” that is completed by an individual student for the purposes of assessing their own personal achievement of learning outcomes. Examples include learning logs, journals, self-scored rubrics, or personal check-lists.
Student Learning Assessment: A type of educational assessment used to evaluate students’ level of achievement in relation to numeracy and literacy within the Grade 2 Alberta Program of Studies. Teachers have the freedom to choose if and how they use this assessment. The goal of this assessment is to improve the quality of instruction and overall student learning experience for students in Grade 3 and subsequent grades. Summative Assessment: A type of formal educational assessment that evaluates the extent to which students have achieved the required learning outcomes at the end of a course or program of study. This type of assessment encompasses “assessments of learning”.
The results of this assessment can be shared though report cards or transcripts and are often used to determine the kinds of courses and programs of study students are placed in going forward.Valid Assessment: An approach to educational assessment that involves using assessment tools that align with the specific competencies and learning outcomes that need to be evaluated. For example, a teacher would choose to use a rubric to assess students’ presentation skills rather than a multiple choice test