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The Definition of Assessment Literacy

Assessment is the process of gathering evidence of student learning to inform education-related decisions. The impact of decisions turns on the quality of the evidence gathered, which in turn, depends on the quality of the assessment, and associated practices, used to gather it. Those who are assessment literate understand how to gather dependable evidence and how to use it productively to support or certify achievement. Read the full definition here.

Regardless of their level of involvement in the education process, those who are assessment literate understand the importance of:

  • Beginning assessment with a clear purpose;
  • Starting with clear and specific learning target(s) to be assessed;
  • Building high-quality assessments to fit this intended context;
  • Communicating results in ways that assure understanding by recipients, and;
  • Linking assessment and student motivation in ways that keep all students striving for academic success.

Unfortunately, very often education practitioners, students, and stakeholders in the community face the challenges of educational assessment without having been given the opportunity to develop the levels of assessment literacy needed to succeed in meeting those challenges. This Task Force’s mission is to promote deeper understanding of sound assessment practice throughout the fabric of American education.

Download the National Task Force Definition of Assessment Literacy