Valid Writing Assessment: Portfolios, Checklists, and Anecdotal Records

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Six points:

  1. To be of use; however, any assessment system must reflect your values, philosophy, teaching style, and students (Calkins, 1994). In other words, your system needs to be yours. You can’t assess writing effectively using somebody else’s system. Thus, I will present some simple ideas here with the expectation that you will discuss them with your colleagues and then use them to develop your own assessment system for writing.
  2. Your assessment system is not a permanent entity. Expect that it will evolve and change over time as you get more knowledge and experience.
  3. An effective assessment system utilizes multiple forms of assessment that collect multiple kinds of data.
  4. The role of good assessment is to become obsolete – to prepare students to evaluate their own work. Thus, an important part of assessment is to teach students how to assess their own work (Graves, 1992).
  5. Students should be involved in the assessment process.
  6. The only hard and fast rule about portfolios, checklists, and anecdotal records is that you use them. Other than that, you’re the professional. You know your students. Adopt and adapt all these ideas described here as you see fit.


Elementary and Literacy Education Department

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.