Getting Started with Classroom Assessment Techniques


Extract from Issue#15 of Teaching Tuesdays@CSU

All issues of Teaching Tuesdays can be accessed through the folder at this link

By: Professor Tom Pusateri


(How to subscribe: Staff with a CSU email address can obtain the Magna Commons CSU subscription code from Ellen McIntyre

Professor Pusateri approaches this topic from the perspective of using feedback to improve teaching practice. Based on the book Classroom Assessment Techniques (Angelo & Cross, 1993), he focuses on a handful of the 50 different methods contained in the book.

His rationale for choosing the CATs (Classroom Assessment Techniques) are:

Formative assessment

  • How well are students learning?
  • When should I adapt my teaching?

Summative assessment (for Teaching Improvement, rather than student grading)

  • How can I document my teaching skills? (for reflective practice, annual evaluations, promotion)
  • What can I share with my colleagues?

Techniques include:

  • Background knowledge probe
  • Conceptual diagnostic test
  • Strategic Pre-test/Post-test
  • Misconception/Preconception check
  • Classroom Opinion Poll
  • Minute Paper and the Muddiest Point
  • Subject-related self-confidence surveys and Teacher-designed feedback forms
  • GIFT – Group Instructional Feedback Technique
  • JITT – Just-in-time-teaching – Flipped classroom strategy

The discussion of each of these technique provides explanations of how you might use the information to better address student needs in current sessions. It also helps to develop insights into how you might alter future offerings based on your analysis of the feedback.

QUOTE: “The end of this session, I want to talk about how you might be able to use what you’re finding in classroom assessment techniques to document changes in your teaching and hopefully changes in what students are doing within your class.”

The supplementary material for this session contains resources for different types of surveys, references, website links and information about technology resources.

As is common in seminars providing web links, some lateral thinking might be required to find some resources. The FLAG webite link no longer works, but the information can be found in a search for “field-tested learning assessment guide“, the expanded version of the FLAG acronym. Well worth a look, with links to multiple layers of information about the various CATs.


Angelo, T. A., & Cross, K. P. (1993). Classroom assessment techniques: A handbook for college

teachers. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Available from CSU Library, Wagga Campus.

Presentation handouts, full transcripts and supplementary resources are available for download from the Magna Commons website if you don’t have time to listen to the seminar.