Unlocking Assessment

We are a group of teachers from Langley, British Columbia (B.C.), who are passionate about finding a variety of assessment tools that can be used throughout K-12 for both face-to-face and distance learning programs. Quality assessment requires knowledge of provincial curriculum frameworks, district/personal vision and goals, as well as teachers’ expertise with traditional and online tools to support it. The following sections contain some aspects involved in the assessment process, along with some resources we felt would be useful for teachers looking for information to supplement their practices. To see our created resources as well as supporting research, visit our Assessment Research, Resources and Rationale page.

B.C. Curriculum Connections

Assessment is an essential source of information about students’ learning and understanding. When examining provincial curriculum goals, it is crucial that educators develop assessment strategies/tools that authentically evaluate the curriculum.

B.C. Ministry Assessment resources:

B.C.’s new curriculum supporting how to provide succinct assessment and reporting within the classroom. 

Classroom Assessment Resources (B.C. Ministry of Education, 1994):

Created in 1994 the PDF resources are still useful as a starting point for educators. Although some adjustments will need to be made in order to address updated curriculum.

Formative Assessment

Formative assessment is formal and informal ongoing assessment for learning. It can be used to inform teachers of students ongoing understanding while allowing students to reflect and gauge their personal learning of concepts. These are usually low stakes assessments that allow for the building of skills. Formative assessment is important both in the face-to-face classroom and online. In an online environment, timely formative feedback is paramount.

Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment: (PDF)

This summary of the importance of formative assessment within the classroom. It explains how it can be done and what is the purpose.

21 Quick Formative Assessment Tools:

A blog, online community, and e-learning site for future-focused teachers. This company blog focuses specifically on formative assessment tools to enhance engagement.

24 digital tools for formative assessment: (PDF)

Global online digital teaching tools geared towards aiding teachers’ evaluation of online assessment.

Formative Assessment in Distance Learning:

This informative article was created during global transition to online learning to help teachers rationalize and conduct meaningful formative assessments.

3 Tips for Great Formative Assessment

This video clearly illustrates how to include an assessment in an online course. It also indirectly discusses formative assessment. 

Summative Assessment

Summative assessment is an important tool that allows educators to determine student understanding. This is needed both in class and online to measure student understanding as a class and individually. An educator uses the gathered information to decide to review or progress in a concept. When online, educators need to use various tools to help them gauge student learning. In elementary school summative feedback plays a role in determining where students are at, at the end of a unit. In high school summative assessments can determine final grades, eligibility to pass a class, and University entrance. When assessing work online, academic integrity often becomes a concern for teachers.

75 Assessment Digital Tools To support Summative Assessment:

Educational blog for teachers providing apps and websites that assist in online formative assessment. 

Summative Assessment in Distance Learning:

This article was created during the global transition to online learning to help teachers rationalize and conduct meaningful summative assessments.

Online Assessment strategies

This resource also includes strategies to address concerns teachers may have about the validity of online assessments.

Some  tools for academic integrity and plagiarism in a hybrid model

One way to conduct summative assessments is through the use of video interviews and video projects. Check out this Video Editing, Meetings & Recording, and Whiteboards post for some applications.


Competency-based Assessment

Competency-based assessment integrates well with the new BC curriculum’s focus on curricular and core competencies. Two methods of providing feedback and competency assessment include: scales and rubrics. These can be utilized for formative and summative assessment, while utilizing peer and self-assessment practices. They provide a framework to guide student’s and provide an outline of teacher expectations. Clear communication of assessment is important in an online environment since there can be asynchronous access of assignments and projects. Rubrics and scales can provide guidelines for students and teachers to discuss student progress compared with curricular competencies.

“How to design competency-based assessment”

This Blog was written by a director of learning and design at Global Online Academy. Eric Hudson created a step-by-step outline for using competencies for assessment based on their school’s competency learning model. 

BC Ministry Assessment performance standards scale:

One method for assessing competencies is a scale, as outlined in the performance standards outlined on the BC Ministry website.

Explaining Analytic and Single Point Rubrics:

One recurring method of assessment of competencies includes the analytic and single point rubrics. The educator’s room blog post describes the purpose, benefits, and limitations of analytic and single point rubrics. The information shared is clear, concise, and supported by resources.

Example using single point rubric to assess competency:

This is a great example of how to use a rubric to assess competency. 

Digital Tool: Competency Tracker

The Cult of Pedagogy blog reviews a digital tool for tracking competencies. This is a paid tool which collectively tracks student curricular competencies. Since it is based in the US, educators in Canada may need to consider FOIPPA or FIPPA compliance (privacy legislation).

Using Competencies in the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS)

Step-by-step provided by Moodle support page for how to integrate competency assessment into Moodle.

Peer and Self-Assessment

The video above by Dylan Wiliam discusses the topic of peer and self-assessment. Dylan is, among other things, an Emeritus professor of Educational Assessment at the UCL Institute of Education.

Peer and self-assessment tools are essential to student learning as it allows personalized reflections while learning from one another. It allows educators and students to determine where students believe they’re at and where they need to go in order to meet teacher, student and curriculum specific goals.

Self-assessment allows students to gauge and drive their own learning. Peer assessment allows for a collaboration between students to work towards common goals while building community within the classroom and online.

Self-Assessment Resource for Teachers: (PDF)

This resource contains information, steps, tools and strategies connected to self-assessment. 

Strategies to Enhance Student Self-Assessment:

A website by Education Services Australia that includes a variety of strategies to aid educators with the creating and implementing of effective student self assessments. 

Developing and Supporting K-12 Student Reflection and Self-Assessment of Core Competencies

This PDF document is provided by the BC Ministry of Education to help support teachers in creating student self-assessment activities.

Peer assessment

This blog post contains information on using peer assessment in an online environment. It also includes links to other connected resources. 

Some great tools that could be used for peer assessments.


Professional Learning

Professional learning is a key component of developing authentic assessments in various learning environments. Professional learning includes, but is not limited to, webinars, podcasts, professional development, and collaboration with colleagues through social spaces such as twitter. Resources that enable educators to develop their own knowledge and skills, will lead to better assessment pedagogy.

Foundations of Online Assessment:

This is a self-paced open access course containing six modules connected to assessment. 

Authentic Learning and Assessment:

This is also an open access course created by Royal Roads University. Although this course was created in 2013, and does not appear to be operational, it still contains a lot of useful content. 

Assessment Resources for Teachers:

Blog by teachers for teachers,“dedicated to innovation in K-12 education … growing teaching through thought leadership, professional development, resource curation, curriculum development, podcast publishing, and collaboration”

Shake up Learning:

Blog formatted professional learning network that “provides teachers and educators with easy to understand, use tomorrow resources for Google and G Suite for Education, mobile learning and classroom technology integration through digital learning resources, technology tips and tricks, in-depth e-courses, books, resources, cheat sheets, blog publications. and podcasts.”

Global Online Academy:

Curated list of resources for teachers going into online teaching during covid19 that will be useful for educators as they plan for the fall.

Designing for Online Learning Assessment:

Online Course (there is a cost and specific dates)

Twitter # (hastags):


#edtech; #edtechchat; #DigLit

#DigitalLearning; #eLearning; #onlinelearning

#blendedlearning; #distancelearning; #blendedclassroom

#curriculum; #lifeskills; #ATAssess

Twitter @






Other Sites, Tools and Resources 

Additional resources and tools that will help educators develop assessments.

O’Connor Grading:

This blog, created by Jim O Connor, contains paid services connected to assessment but also contains other useful content, particularly the 8 guidelines for grading. 


MyBluePrint is an online tool that allows for teacher and student interaction. Activities include personalized reflections relating to core competencies, teacher feedback, and peer collaboration.

Canadian Assessment for Learning Network:

Canadian Assessment for Learning Network. This is a “member-led, non-profit organization that connects people across Canada who are interested in the use of assessment for learning and the development of related policies and research in education.”

Principles for Quality Assessment:

This website outlines the various parts of quality assessment and what is needed in order create a solid assessment.

Assessing the Online Learner:

SlideShare on assessing the online learner. Includes useful strategies and considerations when assessing online learners.

Annotating tools that can be useful for peer assessments as well as teacher feedback.

Exams: Who are we leaving out?

A B.C. campus article on considerations when creating or delivering exams. 

Check out this assessment tools page for some more ideas.


Co-Authors: Faune, Jerry, Leanne, Rhyanon, & Rochelle.

Images retrieved from: Pixabay