Assessment Twitter Chat

Join the conversation! All you need to participate is a Twitter account. You can follow along by visiting search.twitter.com, searching for #atassess or just bookmark this.

When? Every other Tuesday beginning August 16, 2016. The chats will be 9–10 p.m. Eastern.

Where? On Twitter! Search for #atassess.

Why? Meet fellow educators, ask questions, and work together to find solutions!


Twitter Chat Archive


Summer Assessment Tune Up – June 13, 2017

Moderator: Katie White (@KatieWhite426), Assessment Expert
Topic: Assessment Architecture

Q1: How might we look at an assessment tool we already have to make it even better? What do we need to consider?

Q2: How might we plan to shift our assessment environments in order to ensure students give us their best?

Q3: How might we shift how we talk about assessment with students to better communicate the intent of assessment to support growth? #ATAssess

Q4: How might our lesson and unit plans reflect our shifting assessment understanding and practices?

Q5: What needs to shift this summer in our high schools in order for assessment to fully support growth and risk-taking? #ATAssess

Q6: What needs to shift in elementary settings in order for assessment to fully support growth and risk-taking? #ATAssess


Designing and Evaluating Classroom Assessments – May 30, 2017

Moderator: Eileen Depka (@eileen_depka), Assessment Expert
Topic: Assessment Architecture

Q1: What should be taken into consideration when designing an assessment?

Q2: How do you review existing assessments, like those from a textbook, for quality and suitability for your purpose?

Q3: What ways do you suggest using to differentiate an assessment?

Q4: With what frequency do you suggest assessing students?  Why?

Q5: What methods do you suggest using to collect, organize, and evaluate student data to monitor individual and class progress?

Q6: How do you determine the criteria used to evaluate student performance on tasks, projects or performances?


Designing Assessments for 21st Century Skills – May 16, 2017

Moderator: Nicole Dimich Vagle (@NicoleVagle), Assessment Center Architect
Topic: Assessment Architecture

Tonight’s chat is about assessing in our modern context. If we believe that 21st Century skills are most essential for students to achieve, then assessing and providing feedback is the way to put them front and center. Let’s explore how we design for these 7 skills.

For each of these skills: What is it? What criteria is most important when assessing it? How do we assess accurately, equitably, and in an engaging way? What are the potential sources of error? In other words, how could this go wrong?

Q1: Collaboration

Q2: Creative Problem-Solving

Q3: Communication

Q4: Social Competence

Q5: Critical Thinking

Q6: Self-Regulation

Q7: Digital Literacy


Professional Judgement – May 2, 2017

Moderator: Tom Schimmer (@TomSchimmer), Assessment Center Architect
Topic: Assessment Architecture

Q1: How would you define ‘using professional judgment to assess student performance?’

Q2: Why might some (many?) teachers be uncomfortable with the very idea of using their PJ to assess student performance?

Q3: How can we begin to build teachers’ confidence in their own PJ?

Q4: How do we ensure that PJ does not devolve into simply a ‘subjective opinion’ of student performances?

Q5: What data/information informs teacher PJ on singular demonstrations of learning? #ATAssess

Q6: How would/could teachers use PJ to determine overall grades/levels when assessments are varied & multifaceted?

Q7: How can PJ be more infused into classrooms (i.e. math) where ‘correct answer ratios’ are often the assessment norm?

Q8: How can teachers assist parents and students in understanding & accepting the validity of teacher PJ?


The Evidence of Learning. When is Enough… Enough? – April 18, 2017

Moderator: Jim Smith (@MrDataGuy), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Assessment Architecture

Tonight’s chat was inspired by a question from @davewheeler11: “How much assessment evidence of learning do you need to make learning decisions?”

The quality of “evidence of learning” is only as good as the assessment design. As they say in the tech world: garbage in-garbage out.

For our discussion tonight we will center on the three assessment design principles laid out in Nicole Vagle’s work, Design in Five: 1) Designing with precision, 2) Employing effective action, and 3) Fostering student investment.

Q1: Designing with precision. Evidence of learning requires assessments to be designed with clarity and coherence. What are the design factors that must be considered when writing assessments?

Q2: Employing effective action. Assessment requires a response; it can be an instructional shift, or providing student feedback. What pre-planning steps do you take to employ a plan of action?

Q3: Fostering student investment. Assessment is not an add-on after instruction, it is a vital part of helping students to take charge of their learning. How do you intentionally pre-plan for student engagement and investment in the assessment process?

Putting the design qualities into action. Consider the three assessment design qualities when responding to the next three question/scenarios – Describe the intentional planning needed to ensure the quality of the evidence of learning.

Q4: Scenario 1: You are planning the last common formative assessment of a critical learning target before taking the final assessment.  Problem solve how you will make this assessment valid, quick to administer, and provide student feedback without sacrificing instructional time.

Q5: Scenario 2: In the middle of instruction, the teacher will “diagnose” if students are ready to move to the next level of instruction. (Time limit: 2 minutes to give, 30 seconds to view responses, followed by an immediate feedback)

Q6: Scenario 3: The individual student achievement history of your new class ranges from the highest to the strugglers. How do you develop your assessment plan to be sure ALL students are “growing” toward the desired target?

Q7: Now to ask the question that started all of this: How much evidence do you need to make learning decisions? It’s complicated!


Enhancing Assessment Through Technology – April 4, 2017

Moderator: Nicole Dimich Vagle (@NicoleVagle), Assessment Center Architect
Topic: Assessment Architecture

Q1: What does it mean to be digitally literate? What role does technology play in being digitally literate?

Q2: How do learners currently use technology and how does that influence how they communicate, interact and learn?

Q3: Technology has made it possible for students to connect and communicate far beyond the classroom. How do we meaningfully use technology in assessment design?

Q4: How does technology facilitate more formative feedback? Share examples.

Q5: What are your favorite and most effective technology tools (both for students and teachers)? How do you use them for assessment purposes?

Q6: What are the biggest pitfalls when it comes to using technology in assessment?

Q7: What do teachers need to know and be able to do to design with technology in mind and use it well?


Acceptable Alternatives – March 21, 2017

Moderator: Tom Schimmer (@tomschimmer), Assessment Center Architect
Topic: Assessment Architecture

Q1: How do you reconcile the orthodoxy of ‘not grading FA’ when parents need/want/expect regular updates to the online gradebook?

Q2: Respond: “How am I supposed to do standards-based learning when my courses (i.e. Choir, Band) don’t have published, universal standards?”

Q3: “Homework should never be graded” — how do we put this into practice when some teachers authentically believe students won’t do homework if it’s not graded?

Q4: How can you implement SBG when the grading program (or the district/state) requires %-based grade calculations?

Q5: Respond: “I would love to allow students to reassess every assessment, but I (authentically) don’t have the time.”

Q6: What other ‘acceptable alternatives’ have you utilized (or assisted others in developing) in order to advance the grading conversation?


“Fun-sessment”: Putting the Fun Back in Assessment – March 7, 2017

Moderator: Jim Smith (@MrDataGuy), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Student Investment

Q1: How can we use humor and imagination to lighten the mood and relive stress associated with assessment?

Q2: How can we innovate assessment to take away the anxiety of assessment while building hope and efficacy?

Q3: How have you used assessment in an imaginative way this year?

Q4: How can we use innovation and imagination in assessment for a student who has been on a trajectory of failure to find learning success and hope?

Q5: If we use humor in assessment, will it be taken seriously?

Q6: Without letting students use pen/paper, how can you accurately assess clear evidence of learning?


Changing the Mindset of Learners  – February 21, 2017

Moderator: Mandy Stalets (@MandyStalets), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Student Investment

Q1: What are some of the biggest struggles you have faced with changing the mindset of learners when it comes to sound assessment?

Q2: How have traditional assessment practices taught students to “play the game of school”?

Q3: How do we work to change the mindset of learners and take the focus off the grade?

Q4: How do we communicate our assessment purposes to learners?

Q5: How do we inspire students to always look forward and focus on what’s next, instead of focusing on what was?

Q6: How do we teach learners the value of ongoing self-assessment?

Q7: How do we make sure that learners not only read the feedback provided to them, but also act on it?


Formative Assessment and Leadership – February 7, 2017

Moderator: Cassandra Erkens (@cerkens), Assessment Center Architect
Topic: Instructional Agility

Q1: How are formative assessment and leadership alike?

Q2: How might PD be different if leaders shared targets and success criteria for & with Teachers?

Q3: If leaders want to know PD was successful, how might they ‘assess’ along the way?

Q4: How can Teachers receive and give better feedback with/for each other?

Q5: What currently stops Teachers from relying on each other as instructional resources?

Q6: Do current goal-setting/evaluation systems activate Teachers as owners of own learning in meaningful/productive ways?  Why/why not?

Q7: Modeling formative assessment practices is step one. How do leaders make their efforts transparent so all Teachers better understand formative assessment strategies?


Let’s Get Real About Assessment! – January 24, 2017

Moderator: Katie White (@KatieWhite426), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Student Investment

Q1: How do our current assessment practices enhance or kill student motivation? (E for Enhance & K for Kill)

Q2: What would be different if our assessment practices supported risk taking & productive failure in our day to day classroom?

Q3: How could we teach students to develop perseverance & persistence through assessment practices?

Q4: What would need to change if evaluation practices were used to increase achievement?

Q5: Given this conversation, what needs to be on our STOP DOING list for current assessment practices?

Q6: What needs to be on our START DOING list for new assessment practices?

Q7: How do leaders need to activate and support the start/stop doing lists?


Talking Grading… – January 10, 2017

Moderator: Mandy Stalets (@MandyStalets), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Assessment Architecture

Mandy Stalets is “talking grading” as she leads the #ATAssess conversation with the following questions:

Q1: I want to make the change to sound grading practices, but my school has not implemented SBG. What is my first step?

Q2: How can I best communicate to parents the changes I am making and why these changes are beneficial and necessary?

Q3: I understand that students don’t all learn at the same time. How do I manage reassessment?

Q4: I plan to change the way I provide feedback to make it more effective. How can I guarantee students read it & act upon it?

Q5: My school still has traditional letter grades. How do I teach students to focus on their learning, not the grade?

Q6: What are your favorite resources you can share to help me with my journey?


Name an assessment practice… – December 20, 2016

Moderator: Katie White (@KatieWhite426), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Assessment Architecture

In this week’s chat, we will share specific practices that support certain outcomes. Please be as specific as possible in naming practices. How are these outcomes really supported in our classrooms and schools? In tonight’s chat, I’ll share a desired outcome (Q1, Q2, etc) and we’ll name an assessment practice that supports it (A1, A2).

Q1: Name an assessment practice that supports student confidence.

Q2: Name an assessment practice that supports teacher confidence.

Q3: Name an assessment practice that supports effective teaching.

Q4: Name an assessment practice that supports differentiated learning.

Q5: Name an assessment practice that supports family engagement.

Q6: Name an assessment practice that supports deep thinking.


The PLC and…educators as students of their teaching? – December 6, 2016

Moderator: Jim Smith (@MrDataGuy), Assessment Center Associate; Paul Maeker (@PaulaMaeker), PLC Associate
Topic: Assessment Architecture

The core work of PLC, as reflected in the 4 questions of PLC, looks at evidence of learning – and taking action. We assess students, provide feedback for their reflection, and together plan the next steps in learning – but how do we assess our work as a PLC? If assessment is good for the student, it’s also good for educators. John Hattie talks about “students becoming teachers of their own learning and teachers becoming students of their teaching.” Tonight’s topic; how do PLC’s help educators become students of their teaching?

Tonight is a dual effort of the #ATAssess and #atplc chats

Assessment Associate, Jim Smith @Mr.DataGuy and PLC Associate @PaulaMaeker combine forces for this chat.  Thanks also to #ATAssess co-moderators @Mandystalets and @Katiewhite426

Reflecting on your PLC

Q1: What is a good balance between analyzing assessment results (data or student work) and planning next steps in learning (data use)?

Q2: At times, an instructional response to formative assessment must be made quickly. How is this decision communicated to the team? (timely collaboration)

Q3:  How do you assess the results of your team or PLC collaboration and identify the evidence of your collaborative success? (PLC effectiveness)

Q4: The work of PLC is the work of learning. How do you keep the focus of collaboration time from being distracted from this core work? (mission creep)

Q5:  Is your PLC a school/system-wide movement or is it work being done by selective teams and how can this be assessed? (growing as a PLC)

Q6: High performing PLCs require moving beyond compliance to a culture of shared collective commitments. How can this process be assessed and next steps built? (qualitative measures)


Softening the Edges – November 22, 2016

Moderator: Katie White (@KatieWhite426), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Assessment Architecture


Assessment and Grading – October 25, 2016

Moderator: Mandy Stalets (@MandyStalets), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Assessment Architecture


Softening the Edges – October 12, 2016

Moderator: Katie White (@KatieWhite426), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Assessment Architecture


Learning Outcomes Backwards – September 28, 2016

Moderator: Jim Smith (@MrDataGuy), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Assessment Architecture


Talking Formative Assessment – September 13, 2016

Moderator: Mandy Stalets (@MandyStalets), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Assessment Architecture


Solution Tree Assessment Center Part 2 – August 30, 2016

Moderator: Jim Smith (@MrDataGuy), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Assessment Architecture


Solution Tree Assessment Center – August 16, 2016

Moderator: Jim Smith (@MrDataGuy), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Assessment Architecture


Assessment and Family Engagement – June 7, 2016

Moderator: Mandy Stalets (@MandyStalets), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Student Investment


Assessment…the Antidote for High-Stakes Testing – May 25, 2016

Moderator: Jim Smith (@MrDataGuy), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Student Investment


Assessment and Creativity – May 10, 2016

Moderator: Katie White (@KatieWhite426), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Assessment Architecture


Assessment and Student Investment – April 26, 2016

Moderator: Mandy Stalets (@MandyStalets), Teacher
Topic: Student Investment


 Assessment and Responding to Student Needs – April 12, 2016

Moderator: Jim Smith (@MrDataGuy), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Student Investment


Instructional Agility – March 29, 2016

Moderator: Jim Smith (@MrDataGuy), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Instructional Agility


Assessment and Empowerment – March 15, 2016

Moderator: Jim Smith (@MrDataGuy), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Assessment Architecture


Interpreting Assessment Results – October 15, 2015

Moderator: Angie LaBounty (@angielabounty), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Assessment Architecture


Instructional Agility – October 8, 2015

Moderator: Katie White (@kw426), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Instructional Agility


Assessment Architecture – October 1, 2015

Moderator: Nicole Vagle (@NicoleVagle), Assessment Center Architect
Topic: Assessment Architecture


Assessment Purposes – September 24, 2015

Moderator: Mandy Stalets (@mandystalets), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Assessment Purposes


Communicating Assessment Results – September 17, 2015

Moderator: Garnet Hillman (@garnet_hillman), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Assessment Purposes


Classroom Assessments That Build Investment – September 10, 2015

Moderator: Jim Smith (@MrDataGuy), Assessment Center Associate
Topic: Student Investment