Classroom Assessment

classroom assessment


Classroom Assessment Techniques consist of a variety of feedback and discussion methods that gauge the quality of the learning process.

Basic Element

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs), also known as Classroom Research or Action Research, are a series of tools and practices designed to give teachers accurate information about the quality of student learning. Information gathered isn’t used for grading or teacher evaluation. Instead, it’s used to facilitate dialogue between students and teacher on the quality of the learning process, and how to improve it. As authors Patricia Cross and Thomas Angelo state in their book Classroom Assessment Techniques, “Teaching without learning is just talking.” CATs provide both teachers and students with “in process” information on how well students are learning what the curriculum intends.

The three basic questions CATs ask are:

  1. What are the essential skills and knowledge I am trying to teach?
  2. How can I find out whether students are learning them?
  3. How can I help students learn better?

The classroom assessment process assumes that students need to receive feedback early and often, that they need to evaluate the quality of their own learning, and that they can help the teacher improve the strength of instruction.

The basic steps in the classroom assessment process are:

  1. Choose a learning goal to assess
  2. Choose an assessment technique
  3. Apply the technique
  4. Analyze the data and share the results with students
  5. Respond to the data

CATs provide teachers with a “menu” of evaluation tools that:

  1. Check for student background knowledge
  2. Identify areas of confusion
  3. Enable students to self-assess their learning level
  4. Determine students’ learning styles
  5. Target and build specific skills


Classroom Assessment Techniques, by K. Patricia Cross and Thomas Angelo.