Using Assessment to Design Instruction

In the adult literacy field, classroom assessments are essential for maintaining quality instruction and strengthening programs. Practitioners need them for accurately determining a student’s current skills and knowledge, learning strengths and challenges, educational gains, and readiness to move on to the next stage in the educational journey. Students need them to assure themselves that they are acquiring new knowledge and skills and thus to persist in their learning. Strong classroom assessments contribute to an overall “culture of assessment,” where all members of the learning community—students, tutors, instructors, program managers—can comfortably analyze and use data. After completing this course, teachers will have expanded their selection of assessment tools for classroom use, learned how to deepen assessments from simple to complex, and explored how to involve students in designing classroom assessments.

In this course, you will learn about “backward lesson design”—specifically, how assessments can guide and inform instruction using the following questions:

  • What do I hope students will learn? (learning objectives),
  • How will I know they have learned it? (designing assessments), and
  • What are the best ways to help them learn it? (lesson activities).

You will also learn about:


  • rubric construction and other tools to communicate assessment criteria and expectations to students;
  • the value of student and teacher reflection in improving assessment design and results;
  • strategies for involving students in assessment design (project-based learning and authentic tasks);
  • how to use summative assessments;
  • how to apply fundamental assessment principles; and
  • proven assessment resources to assist in assessment development and scoring.

To learn more about this course and other courses offered by the EdTech Center, email


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