Three Lessons From New Hampshire’s Effort to Expand Deeper Learning


In 2019, Aurora Institute released the new definition of competency-based learning. This seven-part definition was developed with extensive support from practitioners, researchers and leaders across the country. Image courtesy of Vander Els and Stack, 2019 This updated definition reflects a deeper understanding of key issues and developments in the field. This is certainly true for… Read More ›

Formative Assessment in Distance Learning

Formative assessment at a distance is challenging but possible. This article discusses how to check for understanding and provide meaningful feedback to students working remotely. The author offers specific tips such as the importance of collecting data over time, providing feedback, and leveraging relationships. This article can be useful to teachers of any subject and… Read More ›

How Systems of Assessments Aligned with Competency-Based Education Can Support Equity

This report from the Aurora Institute and Center for Assessment looks at ways in which state leaders can build balanced assessment systems that support mastery-based education. In assessment systems aligned with competency education, assessments are coherently linked to target competencies and learning progressions, provide a range of evidence for each student, and monitor progress over… Read More ›

Helping Students Track Their Learning

This article explores how to help students become “assessment capable” learners, monitoring their own content understanding. Assessment capable learners can assess both where they are and where they are going. This article outlines how one history teacher used a common technology tool, Google Docs, to improve formative assessment and build students’ ownership of their learning… Read More ›

Assessment Resources Bundle

Since the Students at the Center (SATC) research paper Assessing Learning was released, the literature on student-centered assessment practices has continued to grow. More and more, schools, districts, and states are using assessment as an opportunity for growth and learning, as well as a way to elevate student voice and leadership. This selection of resources… Read More ›

How Do We Teach Kids to Assess Themselves?

This article discusses the importance of student self assessment to build student agency over learning and help both teacher and student track progress over time. It describes several methods of self assessment including: Rubrics Portfolios Data notebooks Graphic organizers Tech tools to synthesize multiple ideas Any teacher can use the tips for implementation and links… Read More ›

Bringing Student Choice to Assessment in Science Classes

An experienced science teacher describes how he uses alternative assessments in this article. He explains the system he developed to let students choose how to show what they know with options ranging from written tests to journaling, oral reports, or artwork. Science teachers will find inspiration in the article, and appreciate this teacher’s discussion around… Read More ›

Exploring the Impact of Personalized Learning on Student Outcomes

  We believe in the power of personalized, competency-based learning because we want each and every student to learn and be challenged as individuals. We believe it is the path toward equitable outcomes for ALL students. We intuitively understand that having clear learning targets, meaningful and flexible assessments, personalized student supports, and student ownership of their own… Read More ›

Portfolios Boost Assessment Relevancy for Truly Transformative Learning

This opinion article makes a strong case for states to adopt portfolios as part of their assessment programs. The article provides a good overview of the advantages of using student portfolios as assessment. The author outlines how portfolios can focus on learning rather than completion, asses in more individualized ways to decrease racial and socio-economic… Read More ›

Assessments Can Support, Not Just Measure, Student Learning

This article looks at the work being done by The Assessment for Learning Project to recognize assessment as a positive part of the learning process. The initiative, which has  awarded grants to 17 teams of education leaders at the school, district and state levels; advocates assessment systems that empower students, lead to greater equity and… Read More ›

Personalized Learning Plans How-to Guide

This free guide from Edmentum, a provider of curriculum and instructional management and assessment tools, demystifies personalized learning plans (PLPs). The guide outlines 10 actionable steps to define essential components of a personalized learning plan. This infographic provides a simple snapshot of the 10 steps. The guide also includes guiding questions and examples of effective… Read More ›