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Tool: Organizing multiple sources of assessment information

No single source of asessment information is sufficient to serve the several purposes of assessment and to make reliable estimates of students' progress. Using information from multiple sources increases the probability that the findings will be valid and and gives you the kind of information you need, when you need it.  

The multiple-source inventory below provides an organized way to consider the assessment information that is available to you, to inventory the assessments you are actually using and to strengthen your assessment program.

Step 1 of 3:  What sources of information are available to you?

The Michigan Curriculum Framework offers the following list of performance indicators.

Organizational level

Possible performance indicators*


Graded homework, class projects, clinical interviews, performance tasks, discussions with teachers/parents/classmates, High School Proficiency Test, SAT, ACT, diagnostic tests


Teacher-made tests/quizzes, performance assessments, diagnostic tests, observation systems


Department level exams, portfolios, MEAP, authentic classroom assessment based on performance levels


Standardized tests, MEAP tests, authentic classroom assessment based on performance levels


Standardized tests, MEAP tests, portfolios


Michigan Educational Assessment Program tests, NAEP


National Assessment of Educational Progress, Third International Mathematics and Science Study

  *Michigan Curriculum Framework, Section V, Figure 2.

Step 2 of 3: What sources of information are you using?

Record whether and how often you use each method to gather data about student learning:




How often?

Observation notes


Knowledge from prior lessons












Analysis of student work


Student conferences and self-evaluation


Standardized tests


Performance tasks


Step 3 of 3: What do you see in your inventory?

What do you see?

What does that tell you?

Do you favor one type of method or tool over the others?


Are there methods or tools that you never use?

Why do you think this might be?

Are there methods or tools that you want to learn more about?

Questions to ask your mentor…

Are you using enough different methods to achieve acheive reliable estimates of what students know and can do?

If not, what will you add?

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