Unlocking Assessment: the rationale 

Photo of a keyboard with a key placed on top


As educators, assessment is a large part of our job and there are a vast number of tools and pedagogies available. Therefore, as a group we chose to look at the specific aspects of assessment and online assessment tools for the current time we are in, during the COVID-19 pandemic. We first created a set of learning outcomes for assessment (see below), then our curated list and finally we collaborated on a blog post. The Key to Unlocking Assessment seeks to provide educators with ideas of how to transition into the blended and online learning environment that will likely be our reality in the fall. These sources, strategies, and tools were chosen with a critical lens in order to provide practical resources for the everyday educator. The remainder of this post provides our rationale behind this curation. We focused on a range of resources from connections to ministry curriculum, different types and formats of assessments, tools to conduct them, and opportunities for professional development. To achieve this, we examined government and university articlescommercial enterprises, as well as public/private blogs. The CRAAP test was applied to each entry, to evaluate whether they were: Current, Relevant, Accredited, Accurate, and Purposeful. There were only a few resources in our curated list that did not meet every aspect of the test, however they were included for the following reasons.  

  1. Old ministry document: This document is not considered current as it was created in 1994. However, the PDFs are still useful as a starting point for educators; although some adjustments will need to be made in order to address updated curriculum. Included in the list are the updated curriculum resources. 
  2. Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment: A 2001 summary of a 1998 literature review that provides a detailed outline of the important building blocks of assessment by answering the questions of why assessment is important and how it aids learners. It focuses specifically on formative assessment for learning. Although the literature review was written over 20 years ago the information provided is still applicable to today’s learners and educators. 
  3. Assessing the Online Learner: Does not contain a specific date but does contain referenced work from 2007, therefore we can reasonably conclude that it was written sometime after this. The information shared is applicable, purposeful, reliableaccurate and could be a very useful resource for teachers.  

 Learning Outcomes for Assessment: 

1.Identify self-assessment tools that allow students to engage with content through:  

  • Explanation 
  • Justification
  • Office Hours  
  • Personal connection  

2. Identify self-assessment tools that allow students to engage with content through:  Build and apply rubrics and scales to assess curricular competencies.  

3.Investigate and utilize various forms of formative and summative assessment for online learning environments.  

4.Develop a variety of assessment methods to engage students in a subject area using technology.

  • Personalized to consider student needs.  
  • Voice and choice 
  • Use assessment to inform instruction 
  • Consider teaching/learning environment (online vs blended) 

5.Construct timely assessment or appropriate support to ensure student success.  

  • Check-ins 
  • Support Blocks 
  • Office Hours  
  • Communication Home 


What’s Next? 

Our next step is to create resources and evidence informed content that will authentically assess student understanding, in our new learning context. Additionally, we aim to aid educators in developing their own assessment skills, strategies, and tools, that will fit both in-class, blended and online environments.  


Co-Authors: Faune, Jerry, Leanne, Rhyanon and Rochelle 

Image retrieved from: Pixabay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.