Four Facets of Classroom Assessments: Obstacles, Obligations, Outcomes, and Opportunities

Nov. 01, 2014

Source: Action in Teacher Education, Volume 36, Issue 5-6, p. 363–376, 2014.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

Today’s classroom teachers must be equipped and empowered with a rich and varied repertoire of classroom assessments that engage learners and produce data for teachers to analyze and apply to their practices.
As teachers begin to shift their approaches so their classroom assessments become the focus on their practices, teachers encounter challenges and rewards.
Hence, the purpose of this article was to examine the characteristics of the challenges and rewards of the classroom assessment.

This study utilized a mixed method that consisted of an open-ended response survey and a rating scale survey.
The participants were the 15 members of the Commission on Classroom Assessment.


This analysis revealed that educators must understand and analyze four facets or surfaces of classroom assessment including the obstacles, obligations, outcomes, and opportunities.
The authors explained that obstacles, real or perceived, influence the appeal of the assessment; too often the obstacles distort the attraction of logical or innovative assessments that may simplify the teaching and learning for all audiences.

Obligations, internal and external, affect the accuracy of the development and alignment of the assessment as well as the analysis of the data for current and future practices.
Educators must acknowledge and be aware of the power that obligations place upon the variety of and engagement with classroom assessments.
Outcomes, by the students and the teacher, inspire participants to look beyond the superficial appearance of the classroom assessment for the authenticity and purposefulness of the assessment.
Finally, opportunities ensure accountability for educators to apply their classroom assessments to new and different learning experiences empowering and equipping their students and themselves with tools and techniques to self-assess, peer assess, and teacher assess, receiving feedback for personal growth and academic development.

The authors conclude that effective classroom assessments will become a standard for educators beginning their careers, advancing their careers, and guiding other teachers in their careers, once they acknowledge the four conditions that impede effective classroom assessments and become more aware of the four facets of effective classroom assessments.

Updated: Apr. 15, 2015