NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

Bringing Education to You

Course Descriptions

Formative Assessment and Standards-Based Grading

EDUC 600

Education experts Robert J. Marzano and Tammy Heflebower explatn the research, theory and practice of their widely adopted methodology  based on the assumption that to design instruction  that advances all their students' achievement, teachers must be able to design assessments  that fully illuminate what their students are learning. Participants  will learn how to track student progress  through detailed descriptors of the essential skills and knowledge  students must learn for meaningful and purposeful learning; the kind of feedback, assessment, and grading students need to help them learn; how to construct those assessments; how to create rubric-based scales to inform both formative and summative assessments: and how to monitor and affect student progress. The course  features interviews  with teachers and students, classroom  footage, workshop activities, presentations, and an accompanying text. Grading criteria can then be more adequately communicated  to parents in measuring student achievement.


After completing this course, educators will know:

  • The distinctions between formative and summative assessment.
  • How to employ feedback and formative assessment to facilitate students’ learning.
  • How to develop summative grading systems that are consistent, reliable, and valid.

Student Learning Outcomes:

After completing this course, educators will apply the following skills:

  • Design multiple assessments that inform instructional design.
  • Clarify learning goals for their students.
  • Develop rubrics, or proficiency scales, to guide students’ learning.
  • Track students’ progress through research-tested methods.
  • Assess students for grades with consistent, reliable, and valid methods.