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Learning Personalized Part 4: Clear and Compelling Assessments

I hope you have enjoyed the earlier parts of my conversation with Allison Zmuda. This is the final segment where we talk about clear and compelling assessments.

"Finally, in our fourth segment, we take on the challenge of what we put in our gradebooks and how that is communicated with students and families. We discuss the value of clear and compelling assessments where students have space to develop their concepts and hone their skills before a final evaluation of their work.

“One thing I used to do with kids had them have progress tracking tools,” she said. “We started with a graphic organizer I designed, and then I encouraged them to manipulate it in a way that made sense for them to keep the progress.

“One of the biggest challenges teachers generally have is that we are the keeper of all the feedback. We're walking around with our clipboards, kids are asking questions, we're writing down those questions, we're writing down what we told them.

“But if the kids aren't writing it down themselves, they're likely losing a lot of that information you're providing. So even having them keep a section of their notebook that goes specifically to questions they've asked and strategies you've provided.”

I loved the conversation I had with Allison.

There was such a synergy in our conversation, and time flew by. I would love to hear your feedback on our conversation.

About Allison Zmuda

Allison Zmuda is a longstanding education consultant focused on curriculum development with an emphasis on personalized learning. Just as she advocates for personalized learning to be used by her clients, she practices it when engaging with her clients. Allison is also a partner in Habits of Mind with Bena Kallick and Arthur Costa and in Learning Sets with Heidi Hayes Jacobs. Learn more at


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