‘Assessment is today’s means of understanding how to modify tomorrow’s instruction.’

(Carol Tomlinson)

‘Planning a range of challenging activities for students requires an understanding of cognitive development and knowledge of their preferred way of learning.’

Assessment as…               Assessment of…                Assessment for…

VCAA provides resources and teaching strategies to support our teaching and assessment. They provide practical suggestions and sample units as examples.

 VELS Teaching Support


Pre-assessment tools identify what the student knows at the beginning of the learning. The information derived from the pre-assessment helps the teacher make instructional planning decisions.(Complied by Linda Hoff man, Literacy Coach/UFT Teacher Centre staff. Feb 2008)




What can be assessed?

Readiness: Skills, Concepts, Content Knowledge

Interest: Self reflection of interests and learning

Learning profile: Areas of strength and weakness and awareness of academic abilities

Pre-assessment = “Finding Out”

What prior mastery of knowledge, understandings or skills do my students possess?

What do my students want and need to know, understand or do in order to increase their level of mastery?

More About Pre- (instruction) Assessment

The teacher uses tools to preview upcoming topics.

The teacher determines prior student mastery of knowledge, skills and understandings before the topic is taught.

The teacher gauges the appropriate content and pacing of instruction for individual students.

The teacher makes instructional decisions about students’ strengths and needs.

Pre Assessment key questions…

  •   What do my students know before my teaching begins?
  •   How will I pre-assess my students’ prior knowledge and readiness levels? 
  •   What does the information generated by my pre-assessment tool tell me about my students’ entry points to learning the new information?

Practical suggestions…

The following links have a plethora of ideas and suggested pre assessment tasks which can be used when planning.
  • Core thinking routines from Harvard Education. Some excellent strategies and links. Visible Thinking
  • This is an excellent site. It includes strategies with very paractical applications, techniques with student examples, powerpoints and professional reading.  Dare to Differentiate
  • Lists and explanations of various pre assessment strategies.  Pre Assessment Strategies

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