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  • Writer's pictureAdam E. Rowland

Definition of Assessment

Educational assessment is the collection of evidence, either behavioral or academic, to inform instruction and improve student achievement (Stiggins, 2008). There are various forms of assessment, including formative and summative, and academic assessment may involve traditional or authentic forms (Pelligrino, 2014; Ortega & Minchala, 2017). Authentic assessments are designed to replicate real-world situations and experiences, and classroom activities such as performance tasks and student interviews may increase relevancy, impact student engagement, and improve student achievement (Engel et al., 2003). Non-academic assessments, particularly those such as Response to Intervention (RTI) that involve addressing counterproductive student behaviors with evidence-based strategies, are also essential to ensure optimal learning is achieved (Young et al., 2018).


Engel, M., Pulley, R., & Rybinski, A. (2003). Authentic Assessment: It Really Works.

Ortega, D. P., & Minchala, O. E. (2017). Assessing students in an authentic and ongoing manner in the English classroom. Theory & Practice in Language Studies, 7(3), 159–165.

Pellegrino, J. W. (2014). Assessment as a positive influence on 21st century teaching and learning: A systems approach to progress. Psicologia Educativa, 20(2), 65–77.

Stiggins, R. (2008). Assessment manifesto. A call for the development of balanced assessment systems. Educational Testing Service.

Young, A., Andrews, C., Hayes, C., & Valdez, C. (2018). Should teachers learn how to formally assess behavior? Three educators’ perspectives. International Journal of Special Education, 33(2), 416–426

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