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  • Writer's pictureTara O'Brien

The Roles of Teachers and Students in Assessment

Rick Stiggins (2014) advocates for building school-wide and local visions of excellence and assessment in education to reduce drop-out rates, narrow the achievement gap, prepare students for college, and create lifelong learners. All students should be supported and become academically proficient and this vision of excellence in education and assessment will help to prepare students in achieving their dreams. To accomplish this task, educators should develop balanced assessment systems that meet the needs of all stakeholders, including local ones. Local stakeholders require effective data to meet the needs of students and students require assessment data to take control of their own learning. Annual standardized testing, in cooperation with interim benchmark assessments and effective regular classroom instruction can best inform decision making to improve student outcomes and develop lifelong learners. Stiggins (2014) explains that balanced assessment is both assessment for learning and of learning. Classroom assessment is the one level assessment that has been research documented to improve student learning and is a crucial piece of the puzzle for planning and instruction (Stiggins, 2014).

Watch the video to learn more!

Teachers play a crucial role in developing, administering, and analyzing classroom assessment.

  • When planning classroom assessment, the context and purpose of an assessment must be clear and the data should be used to inform decisions to meet the needs of students.

  • The attributes and uses of assessment contribute to its reliability and effectiveness.

  • The Learning targets of instruction and assessment must be aligned and clear to students and teachers.

  • Teachers must also consider when and how to most appropriately conduct assessment.

  • Environmental factors and sources of bias should be considered when planning and implementing assessment.

  • Results should be communicated effectively under different circumstances to give actionable feedback, reflect on prior learning, set goals, and create longitudinal data to make decisions (Stiggins, 2014).

Students need to be involved in the assessment process, where appropriate, to learn how to manage their own learning. As a teacher, perhaps the greatest challenge regarding assessment is supporting student self-perception and goal-setting related to assessment results. Teachers and students use assessment to gauge and plan learning. Children are an important part of the process and their emotional responses to assessment will determine how they respond to academic challenges. Assessment is motivating for students when teachers provide actionable feedback and support (Stiggins, 2014). The self-perceptions of students about assessment results is crucially important to social-emotional and academic development. We can help our students to make productive decisions about their education by creating a culture of confidence and reducing fears of failure by developing growth mindset. Students need to be taught about how to self-monitor and reflect upon their learning in order to become lifelong learners and achieve their dreams.


Stiggins, R. (2014). A new vision of assessment excellence. Youtube.

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