Domain Overview

Key Domain - Purposeful Assessment

Assessment is intentional in moving learning forward for students and educators, and informs the next steps in the learning cycle. In order to ensure the purpose of assessment is clear, we must know why, how, and when to embed assessment in the learning and instructional process, . Assessment is used in a strength-based manner, accessible to all different types of learners and pedagogically reflects a growth mindset and achievement-focused environment.

Connection to Dimension of Quality Teaching

  1. Teacher as Expert in Pedagogical Knowledge

Professional Focus

  • Assessment informs teaching and learning - Assessment clarifies, shares and provides understanding of learning intentions and criteria for success and involves classroom discussions, activities and learning tasks that elicit evidence of learning (Davies, 2007; Stiggins, 2006; Wiliam, 2011).
  • Assessment is ongoing - Learning is cumulative, developmental and the most recent curricular achievement is what is significant and relevant (O’Connor, 2010).
  • Students own their learning - Students are active participants in the process of assessment when educators craft meaningful learning opportunities that help students identify their needs and develop positive attitudes about learning (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001; (O’Connor, 2010). Educators and students contribute to designing activities to meet needs and evaluate the impact on student learning (Timperley, 2011).
  • Descriptive feedback - Frequent and timely descriptive feedback that provides specific insights about how to improve learning is essential to student achievement and is directly linked to the Program of Studies (Davies, 2007; Wiliam, 2011),

Reflective questions


  • What is the purpose of the assessment (for, as, of learning)?
  • Is the assessment reliable and valid?
  • How are the criteria for success clearly articulated with the student?
  • How is the student actively involved in the assessment process?
  • How does the descriptive feedback move learning forward?


Davies, A. (2007). Leading Towards Learning and Achievement: The Role of Quality Classroom Assessment. In Studies in Educational Leadership (pp. 159–182).

Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D., & Pollock, J. E. (2001). Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement. ASCD.

O’Connor, K. (2010). A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades. Prentice Hall.

Stiggins, R.J. (2006). An introduction to student-involved assessment for learning (5th ed.).

Boston, MA: Pearson.

Timperley (2011). Realizing The Power Of Professional Learning. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Wiliam, D. (2011). Embedded Formative Assessment. Solution Tree Press.