Assessment First

Assessment is a process rather than an ending. It provides anchors in the stream of complex and multidimensional learning.


Most educators have a toolbox of instructional strategies and resources. They select those most relevant to the targets as they engage students in learning. Typically, assessments are added on at the end. In reality, it is the routine embedded assessments that strengthen and support teaching and learning. The more a teacher knows about how a student is learning, the better they can guide and support that learning.

Starting with the end in mind means having a clear view of the destination.

Putting assessment at the forefront of teaching and learning means that

  • Learning is anchored in visible results
  • Teaching is intentionally focused on outcomes
  • Students are at the forefront of practice

As Yogi Berra said “If you don’t know where you are going, you will end up somewhere else.”