Developing a High Quality Balanced Assessment System

Self-paced course

This foundational module, Developing a High Quality Balanced Assessment System, describes the components of a balanced assessment system including assessment for and of learning.

You will become familiar with the Assessment Literacy Standards that serve as the core of the module. Upon completion of the module, you will be able to identify various uses and users of assessment, distinguish among types of assessments and begin the development of a balanced assessment plan.

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Understanding the Formative Assessment Process

Self-paced course

This foundational module, The Formative Assessment Process describes how educators use formative assessment strategies within the instructional cycle. You will become familiar with the Assessment Literacy Standards that serve as the core of the module.

Upon completion of the module, you will be able to explain the five components of formative assessment, how to use the formative assessment process effectively, the importance of timely, formative feedback, and how professional learning and administrative support can enhance the learning process.

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Selecting Appropriate Assessments

Self-paced course

This foundational module, Selecting Appropriate Assessments, provides guidelines you can use to select sound assessments. You will become familiar with the Assessment Literacy Standards that serve as the core of the module.

Upon completion of the module, you will be familiar with criteria for selecting assessments, how to determining rigor in assessments, and specific responsibilities and available resources to support the selection process.

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Developing Appropriate Assessments

Self-paced course

This foundational module, Developing Appropriate Assessment provides an overview of the assessment development process for the practitioner. You will become familiar with the Assessment Literacy Standards that serve as the core of the module.

Upon completion of the module, you will be able to explain the five keys to quality assessments, the purpose of a test blueprint and how to create one, and how to match targets with various methods of assessment.

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Making Meaning from Student Assessments

Self-paced course

This foundational module, Making Meaning from Student Assessments provides knowledge of six key concepts that are essential in translating student assessment evidence in ways that are useful to students, teachers, administrators, parents and other necessary parties. The concepts include success criteria, rubrics, exemplars, scoring procedures, student self and peer assessment, scoring procedures and formative feedback.

3 credit hours: $45 fee

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Understanding the Technical Concepts Used in Student Assessment

Self-paced course

This foundational module, Understanding the Technical Concepts Used in Student Assessment describes in simplified language some important qualities of technically sound assessments and assessment strategies.

Upon completion of the module, you will be able to identify how technical concepts contribute to accurate information, make better choices of assessment use, and communicate more accurately about assessments and assessment results.

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Assessment Systems that Support 21st Century Learners

Self-paced course

This foundational module, Assessment Systems that Support 21st Century Learners, describes the higher order, complex thinking skills that today’s students need to be successful, as well as the implications the skills have for assessment, teaching and learning. You will also learn about the conditions necessary for balanced assessment systems and the leadership actions and stakeholder involvement needed to support them.

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Using Assessment Data Well

Self-paced course

The foundational module, Using Assessment Data Well, provides a set of beliefs or guidelines for consideration that drive quality assessment systems. You will become familiar with eight considerations for building a data culture, and how to strategically determine what data to collect for what uses, and how to best communicate data results to the appropriate users. You will also become familiar with the Assessment Literacy Standards that serve as the core of the module.

Upon completion of this module, you will be able to identify quality assessment beliefs or guidelines that are necessary to support all learners, understand and describe the components, processes, and systems that contribute to a strong data culture, and understand how to use and communicate data results to improve student learning and strengthen educational programs in school systems.

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About the Michigan Assessment Consortium's work with Michigan Virtual

Michigan Assessment Consortium (MAC)

Michigan Assessment Consortium (MAC) is a non-profit organization established in 2008 to provide state-wide guidance and direction related to quality assessment practices and balanced assessment systems. Available through Michigan Virtual’s Professional Learning Portal are MAC’s Assessment Learning Modules.

All Assessment Learning Modules are aligned to Assessment Literacy Standards that serve as a core to all MAC professional learning opportunities. The MAC created the Assessment Literacy Standards to inform educators about sound assessment policy, support credentialing professional learning opportunities and inform public policy. These standards were endorsed by the Michigan State Board of Education in May of 2016.

The modules were developed by nationally known assessment experts Ed Roeber, Ellen Vorenkamp, and Carol Commodore.

Ed RoeberEd Roeber, Ph.D. is the Director of Assessment at the Michigan Assessment Consortium and serves on its board. He is also Managing Partner of Assessments Solution Group. Previously Dr. Roeber served as an assessment advisor to the WIDA program at the University of Wisconsin, and as an adjunct professor of Measurement and Quantitative Measurement at Michigan State University. Other roles of his include Senior Executive Director, Office of Educational Assessment & Accountability at the Michigan Department of Education; Vice President, External Relations for Measured Progress; Director of Student Assessment Programs for the Council of Chief State School Officers; and, Supervisor of the Michigan Educational Assessment Program for the Michigan Department of Education.


Ellen VorenkampEllen Vorenkamp, Ed.D., is a former middle school teacher, assistant principal and curriculum director. She is currently an Assessment Consultant at Wayne RESA and an adjunct professor at Concordia University. She is also the president and owner of MJK Educational Consulting LLC, a Lead Coach for the Michigan Department of Education’s Formative Assessment for Michigan Educators (FAME) project, a member of the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Education and Innovation advisory board, as well as a board member for the Michigan Assessment Consortium.


Carol CommodoreCarol Commodore is an independent consultant whose special interests center on leadership, assessment, systems thinking, motivation, creativityand learning. An educator for more than 30 years, she served as a classroom teacher, a department chair, an assistant superintendent and an assessment coordinator. During her tenure as a district leader, she facilitated the establishment of new programs in the areas of balanced assessment, teacher mentorship and foreign language. Carol has co-authored four books in the areas of assessment and leadership, her most recent being Balanced Assessment Systems: Leadership, Quality and the Role of Classroom Assessment (2017). Carol is a founding member of the Wisconsin Assessment Consortium and is currently serving as a critical friend to the National Task Force on Assessment Education.Carolpresents and consults for local, state, national and international organizations across North America, Asia, and the Middle East.

The modules also include ideas and support fromRick Stiggins, Margaret Heritage, Susan Brookhart, Carol Commodore, Ken O’ Conner and James Popham. Editing was done by Nancy Fahner, an educational consultant specializing in professional development, collaborative learning, facilitation, and editing.

Each Assessment Learning Module provides an opportunity for engagement, reflection and access to tools and other resources that can continue to support educators’ professional practice.

For more information on the Michigan Assessment Consortium, the Assessment Literacy Standards and the Assessment Learning Modules, please visit the Michigan Assessment Consortium website.

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