You’ve already created an assessment that’s aligned to a certain set of objectives.  But do you know what students will need to score or achieve on that assessment in order for you to deem that they’ve learned the material?  What equates to mastery?

You must define your evaluation criteria.

In defining your evaluation criteria, here are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Like your assessments, your evaluation criteria and standards for mastery should be aligned with the objectives .  Sometimes your standards for mastery might mirror your objectives almost exactly.  For instance, if a lesson’s objective is, “By the end of the lesson students will compose a persuasive essay with a topic sentence, evidence cited appropriately from the text, and a closing statement,” then your standards for determining whether or not students mastered the objectives might be: “Students’ essays will include a topic sentence, evidence cited appropriately from the text… and so on.”
  •  You will also need to define what other levels of understanding look like – not just “mastery.”  This might mean creating a rubric to use that outlines what all 5 levels of understanding look like, from “mastery” to “approaching mastery” to “lacks understanding.”
  • You must have a way to measure a student’s progression towards mastery of each objective that you’re assessing.  That means that each question on an assessment or each graded component of an essay must be aligned with a specific objective.