You are here

A Local Assessment Toolkit to Promote Deeper Learning

A Local Assessment Toolkit to Promote Deeper Learning
Transforming Research Into Practice

Foreword by Jay McTighe

March 2018 | 512 pages | Corwin

Build assessments you can really use | Unlock the how, when, what, and why

Watch your system become greater than its parts by building local capacity through common language and deeper knowledge of assessment components. For years, educators have turned to the Hess Cognitive Rigor Matrices (CRM). Now for the first time, the modules are packaged into one resource to help you evaluate the quality and premise of your current assessment system.

Designed as a professional development guide for long-term use by school leaders, five content-rich, topic-based modules:

  • Offer field-tested, teacher-friendly strategies for local school test development
  • Can be used for individual or professional development opportunities
  • Allow for sequential or non-sequential use 
Module 1: Are my students thinking deeply or just working harder?
1.1 What is cognitive rigor and how do we build a common understanding of it?  
1.2 Developing a Common Understanding of Rigor: Instructional Implications & Related Research  
1.3 Seven Common misconceptions about rigor  
1.4 Bloom Meets Webb: Origins of the Hess Cognitive Rigor Matrix  
1.5 Getting started applying your understanding of rigor and deeper learning  
Part 2: Support Materials for Module 1
1.6 A Workshop Plan for Module 1  
1.7 Hess Cognitive Rigor Tools  
1.8 Strategies & Tools for Professional Developers and Teacher Planning  
1.9 Kid Tools: Resources for Use with Students  
Module 2: Is the task appropriate to the text?
2.1 What makes texts complex and why should every teacher care?  
2.2 The Thinking Behind the Tools in Module 2  
2.3 Key Learnings from a Text Complexity Analysis Process  
2.4 Understanding Quantitative & Qualitative Complexity Measures  
2.5 Unpacking Overall Text Complexity Using a Qualitative Analysis Approach  
2.6 A detailed discussion of what to look for - eight qualitative complexity factors  
Part 2: Support Materials for Module 2
2.7 A Workshop Plan for Module 2  
2.8 Text Complexity Tools in this Module  
2.9 The Importance of Teaching about Text Structures  
2.10 Sample Instructional Strategies for Teaching about Text Structures  
2.11 Sample Text-Based Assessment Strategies  
Module 3: What does this test really measure?
3.1 What is a high-quality assessment?  
3.2 Assessment Purposes and Use: Formative, Interim, and Summative  
3.3 Developing and Refining Rubrics & Scoring Guides  
3.4 Developing and Refining Rubrics & Scoring Guides  
3.5 Developing Anchor Papers for Performance Tasks and Anchor Sets for Calibration  
3.6 Cognitive Labs: An Effective & Efficient Alternative to Piloting New Assessments  
3.7 Guidelines for Creating Task Validation Teams: Analyzing Technical Quality of Assessments  
Part 2: Support Materials for Module 3
3.8 A Workshop Plan for Module 3  
3.9 PLC Tools in this Module  
3.10 Strategies & Tools for Professional Developers and Teacher Planning  
3.11 Sample Formative Assessment Strategies  
3.12 Sample Performance Assessment Design Strategies  
Module 4: Where do I start, what do I teach next, which supports work best?  
4.1 What are learning progressions, and how can they be used to scaffold instruction and guide the design and use of assessments of deeper learning?  
4.2 Four interrelated guiding principles  
4.3 Standards, Learning Progressions, and Curriculum: How are they related?  
4.4 Zooming “In” and Zooming “Out” of Learning Progressions: Two Sides to the Same Coin  
4.5 Applying the Four Interrelated Guiding Principles to Better Understand a Learning Progression  
4.6 Providing System Coherence: Using Learning Progressions for Instructional and Assessment Planning  
4.7 Lesson Learned Using Learning Progressions to Guide Instruction and Assessment Practices  
4.8 Looking for Increasing Rigor – By Observing Shifts in Teacher and Student Roles  
4.9 Suggested Ways to Get Started Using the “Looking for Rigor” Walk-Through Tool # 26  
Part 2: Support Materials for Module 4
4.10 A Workshop Plan for Module 4  
4.11 Hess LP Tools in this Module  
4.12 Strategies & Tools for Professional Developers and Teacher Planning  
4.13 Strategies & Resources for Use with Students  
Module 5: Is this a collection of tests or an assessment system?
5.1 Rethinking what it means to have a local comprehensive assessment system  
5.2 Five indicators of a local comprehensive assessment system  
5.3 Multiple Measures and Common Assessments  
5.4 What exactly are “common” assessments and where do they fit in the local assessment system?  
5.5 Revisiting Alignment from a Systems Perspective  
5.6 Interpreting results from local assessment analyses  
Part 2: Support Materials for Module 5
5.7 A Workshop Plan for Module 5  
5.8 Hess Alignment Tools  

"Karin Hess has a gift. She understands the complex and technical world of assessment, but she is able to convey concepts, techniques, and strategies in a way that is clear, practical, and right on target for today’s schools and classrooms. Her central focus on transfer is operationalized in practices that depend upon and promote cognitive rigor, literacy, and student performance. This IS assessment for deeper learning. But her greater gift—and the one offered to teachers and instructional leaders so ably in this invaluable resource—is her richly developed 'toolkit' of professional development modules. Karin Hess not only gives us the why but also the how and the what if around developing great assessment practices.”


Chris Gareis, Professor of Education and co-author of Teacher-Made Assessments: How to Connect Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Learning
College of William and Mary

”Using Karin Hess's tools and protocols ensured that our district curriculum, instruction, and assessments are rigorous and aligned with state standards. By having us focus on cognitive rigor and plan for challenging questions and tasks, we are better equipped to guide our students to challenging and higher cognitive levels. This also allows our students to transfer their thinking to non-routine situations. Thank you for guiding and supporting our vision!” 


Marcia Smith, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning
Springdale School District, Arkansas

Preview this book

Purchasing options

Volume Discounts Available

contact corwin

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781506393759

For instructors