Assessment seems to be the buzz word for any educational initiative.


There are so many forms of assessment and it is important to really understand all types and how you can use them.

Here is the latest in assessment jargon:

  • Authentic Assessment
  • Cornerstone Assessment
  • Formative Assessment
  • Summative Assessment
  • Self-assessment
  • Rubrics
  • Policy HK
(all of these are explained below)

Authentic assessment

(once called "performance-based assessment")

A form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills -- Jon Mueller

"...Engaging and worthy problems or questions of importance, in which students must use knowledge to fashion performances effectively and creatively. The tasks are either replicas of or analogous to the kinds of problems faced by adult citizens and consumers or professionals in the field." -- Grant Wiggins -- (Wiggins, 1993, p. 229).

"Performance assessments call upon the examinee to demonstrate specific skills and competencies, that is, to apply the skills and knowledge they have mastered." -- Richard J. Stiggins -- (Stiggins, 1987, p. 34).

Authentic assessment accomplishes each of the following goals:
    • Requires students to develop responses rather than select from predetermined options
    • Elicits higher order thinking in addition to basic skills
    • Directly evaluates holistic projects
    • Synthesizes with classroom instruction
    • Uses samples of student work (portfolios) collected over an extended time period
    • Stems from clear criteria made known to students
    • Allows for the possibility of multiple human judgments
    • Relates more closely to classroom learning
    • Teaches students to evaluate their own work

Websites for authentic assessment

Cornerstone Assessment

“..that students truly understand and can apply their learning. ….educators identify cornerstone performance assessment, of increasing complexity and reflecting authentic contexts, to anchor the curriculum Just as an anchor prevents boats from aimless drift, these assessments are designed to prevent curriculum drift by focusing content instruction around important recurring performances.” (Wiggins and McTighe)

Cornerstone Assessments:

•Anchor the curriculum around important, recurring tasks

•Require understanding and transfer of learning.

•Provide evidence of authentic accomplishments.

Excellent website for cornerstone assessment

Formative assessment

Formative Assessment is part of the instructional process. When incorporated into classroom practice, it provides the information needed to adjust teaching and learning while they are happening. In this sense, formative assessment informs both teachers and students about student understanding at a point when timely adjustments can be made. These adjustments help to ensure students achieve, targeted standards-based learning goals within a set time frame.

Summative Assessment

Summative assessment occurs at the end of a period of learning and provides students with opportunities to demonstrate their achievement of the important/enduring learning addressed during that period of time.
It is used in combination with data from formative assessment to:
  • describe what students know, can do and value
  • evaluate student growth relative to the purpose of the lesson/activity/unit/program

Websites for formative and summative assessment


Self-assessment is the process of critically reviewing the quality of ones own performance and provision.

Websites for self-assessment


What is a rubric:

A rubric as a scoring tool that lists the criteria for a piece of work or 'what counts.' For example, a rubric for an essay might tell students that their work will be judged on purpose, organization, details, voice, and mechanics.

A good rubric also describes levels of quality for each of the criteria, usually on a point scale. Under mechanics, for example, the rubric might define the lowest level of performance as "many misspellings, grammar, and punctuation errors," and the highest level as "all words are spelled correctly; your work shows that you understand subject-verb agreement, when to make words possessive, and how to use commas, semicolons and periods."

Why use rubrics?

According to Heidi Goodrich, a rubrics expert:
  • They help students and teachers define "quality."

  • When students use rubrics regularly to judge their own work, they begin to accept more responsibility for the end product. It cuts down on the "am I done yet?" questions.

  • Rubrics reduce the time teachers spend grading student work and makes it easier for teachers to explain to students why they got the grade they did and what they can do to improve.

  • Parents usually like the rubrics concept once they understand it, and they find rubrics useful when helping with homework. As one teacher says: "They know exactly what their child needs to do to be successful."

General Websites for rubrics

Articles for HK Assessment (RockyView Schools)