Assessing Education



A Customized Approach
We work closely with our clients at every step of the assessment process, from conception through administration, scoring and score reporting. Our experience, combined with the flexibility of our methods, allows us to create exceptional products — aligned with the client's specifications — quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.

Meeting Your Needs
Not every client requires its assessment provider to handle all aspects of a project. While we offer end-to-end assessment services, we can also provide specific services that best suit your assessment needs, including:

  • Planning
  • Program management
  • Test development
  • Publishing
  • Scoring
  • Administration
  • Security monitoring and consulting
  • Research
  • Policy development
  • Evaluation
  • Communications with all stakeholders

Assessment Methods


Formative assessment

The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by instructors to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. More specifically, formative assessments:

  • help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work
  • help faculty recognize where students are struggling and address problems immediately

Formative assessments are generally low stakes, which means that they have low or no point value. Examples of formative assessments include asking students to:

  • draw a concept map in class to represent their understanding of a topic
  • submit one or two sentences identifying the main point of a lecture
  • turn in a research proposal for early feedback

Summative assessment

The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark.

Summative assessments are often high stakes, which means that they have a high point value. Examples of summative assessments include:

  • a midterm exam
  • a final project
  • a paper
  • a senior recital

Information from summative assessments can be used formatively when students or faculty use it to guide their efforts and activities in subsequent courses.