Jim Allison: Breakthrough


Forums / Evaluation and Assessment / 3-dimensional assessment

Evaluation and Assessment

3-dimensional assessment

Author Post
Carl Behrens Carl Behrens 20 Points

As I continue to work on 3-dimensional assessment for my classroom I have a concern with the amount of verbage needed to create quality assessment.  In my experience many students (and people in general) will tune out and become frustrated when the explanation of the process is long and wordy.  So my question is how to develop 3-dimensional assessment without becoming too wordy and losing or frustrating students before they even begin the assessment.

Breanne Kruse Breanne Kruse 45 Points

Your assessment should be covering concepts and practices your students have practiced! Is your assessment providing instruction? Maybe try limiting your assessments to individual concepts and/or practices and do them more often but in shorter small chunks. I have seen lots of examples where there is front-loaded explanation and data. But if your students have worked with the concepts before they should be able to transfer the concepts to the task. A well-designed and focused assessment is still provides evidence of learning with only one question, maybe with multiple parts. 

I was provided this NGSS resource by a professor and while the assessment examples on there are not perfect, they can be modified to fit your instruction style and still give you an idea to jump off of. 



Jacob Nichols Jacob Nichols 155 Points

Hi Carl, 

Great question! As educators, we need to focus on having clear expectations as well as maintaining the attention of our students so that we are not accidentally the reason they struggle with completing assignments.

Let me ask you this: when you write questions or create assessments, what is the purpose of what you are writing? Are you trying to teach while assessing or are you trying to create a very specific type of question to avoid confusion on your expectations?

In the first case, when writing your assessment tasks you should be focusing on what they have learned so far and what they need to demonstrate. An assessment task's purpose is primarily to assess and secondarily to teach. Perhaps, in this case, you are trying to teach them how to correctly complete the task or trying to explain the process you want them to demonstrate. To this, I recommend introducing the method/process during your lessons and allow them to become comfortable enough with the process that when they see an assessment task they instinctively know exactly what you expect of them. This will allow you to avoid the awkwardness of reminding them about your expectations during the assessment of their skills.

In the second case, it may be beneficial to break up your assessment tasks to focus on one thing at a time in a cumulative fashion. By building layers of complexity, going from general to specific, you will be able to shorten down on written chunks of instruction and will make the completion of your expectations less confusing for the student.

I hope this helped!


Carl Behrens Carl Behrens 20 Points

Thank you for your feedback.  I like the idea of layering to help keep engagement through the process and to keep the focus on one thing at a time. Many examples I have looked at online have so much frontloaded information I see may students getting lost in the sea.  By layering the process things should become more student friendly rather than standard friendly.  Thank you.

Post Reply

Forum content is subject to the same rules as NSTA List Serves. Rules and disclaimers