Classroom Assessment
Techniques for Early Alert of
Students At Risk
Carleen Vande Zande, Ph.D.
Academic Leaders Workshop
Assessment for Early Alert
"Assessing for learning is a
process of inquiry into what
and how well students learn.”
Peggy Maki
Types of Assessments
 Formative
 Summative
 Purpose-ongoing
 Purpose-final
 Uses-feedback
 Uses-final
 Benefits-correct
 Benefitssummarize
Classroom Assessment
Techniques as Formative
 What are they?
 Formative in nature
 Speedy
 Flexible
 Learning activities for students
What can CATs measure?
 Course-related knowledge and skills
 Student attitudes, values and self-
 Reactions to instruction methods
How can CATs influence teaching and
 Provide frequent feedback
 Provide useful information about what students have
learned or misunderstood
 Address misconceptions in a timely way
 Assist student to self-assess
 Immediate feedback when it is still possible to make
mid-course corrections
 Lower investment of time to gain useful information
about student learning
1. One-Minute Paper
 During last few minutes of class, ask
students to do a quick-write
 “The most important thing I learned today
and/or what I understood least.”
 Instructor reviews before next class and can
clarify, correct, or elaborate in beginning of
next class.
2. Focused Listing
 A brainstorming technique where you ask
students to generate words or phrases that
describe a concept
 Can be used for discussion, review,
assessment of prior knowledge.
3. Pro/Con Grid
 Quick Analysis of pros/cons,
advantages/disadvantages of a concept or
issue. Forces students to see many sides of
a concept/issue.
Pro and Con Grid
Please list the advantages and disadvantages of
using CATs in your instruction.
Advantages of CATS
Disadvantages of CATS
4. Analytic Memo
 Students write a 1-2 page analysis of a
specific problem or issue for a specific
 Students need to analyze and can then
make decisions or solve problems.
5. Concept Maps
 Students draw a map connecting the major
topic with features, ideas and concepts they
have learned.
 Basis for review, discussion, overview of
topic. Good check for understanding.
6. Podcasting Problem Solving
 Create a podcast of students solving a
problem or talking through a process. Ask
them to review for self-evaluation or you
can review for thinking errors.
7. Problem Recognition
 Present students with scenarios and ask
them to identify the issue/problem.
 Students identify what principle, theory,
technique is used to solve the problem.
8. Direct Paraphrasing
 Ask students to relate what they have just
learned geared to a specific audience.
 Assesses student ability to comprehend and
transfer concepts.
Directed Paraphrasing
Directions: In no more than 1-2 concise sentences, define what
learning is. Write a definition that will make sense to your
colleagues. But try, at the same time, to go beyond the (hohum) obvious and give them something to think about.
Learning is. . .
9. One-sentence summary
 Students summarize knowledge of a topic
by constructing a single sentence.
 This requires students to select only the
defining features of an idea.
One Sentence Summary
Directions: To create a one-sentence summary, 1st answer all of the
questions below in relation to your topic. Then weave your separate
answers into 1 (or 2) summary sentences.
Topic: ___________________________
Does/Did/Will Do What?
To/For Whom/What?
When? Where?
10. Application Cards
 After teaching a theory or procedure ask
students to write down at least one
application for what they have just learned.
 Shows if students can transfer information
or if they understand the concept.
Applications Card
Directions: Please take a moment to recall the ideas, techniques, and strategies
we’ve discussed—and those you’ve thought up—to this point in the session.
Quickly list as many possible applications as you can. Don’t censor yourself!
These are merely possibilities. You can always evaluate the desirability and/or
feasibility of these application ideas later.
Some Possible
Applications of those
Ideas/Techniques to
My Work
Interesting Ideas/
Techniques from this Session
11. Documented Problems
 Ask students to solve a problem and
document the steps they took to do that
 This will highlight thinking steps,
12. Application Article
 During last 15 minutes of class, ask
students to write about how a major point
applies to a real-world situation or how the
point applies to their major.
 Share examples in next class to illustrate
range of applications, depth of
understanding, creativity.
Follow-up Questions
 Which have the most potential for your
 Should they be graded? All ? Some?
 Keep it simple
 Let students know what you are doing
Recommendations for Use of CATs
 Collect, sort and analyze the data looking
for patterns
 What did you observe?
 What is your next step?
 Share observations with students
 Begin slowly…don’t force fit activity

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